About this Show

U.S. House of Representatives

Live coverage of House proceedings.

NETWORK

DURATION
05:01:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Channel v24

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
704

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

America 43, Us 35, Iran 34, Afghanistan 31, Ukraine 29, U.s. 27, Washington 19, United States 18, Russia 16, Virginia 15, Texas 15, Mr. Lankford 13, Maryland 13, Ms. Jackson Lee 11, Mr. Connolly 10, Oklahoma 10, Mr. Cummings 9, Assad 8, Kerry 8, Obama 7,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  CSPAN    U.S. House of Representatives    Live coverage of  
   House proceedings.  

    February 28, 2014
    10:00 - 3:01pm EST  

10:00am
chairman. i do support my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this bill. it's a simple, straightforward bill that asks a couple of quick questions. do the people of america work for the federal government? or does the federal government work for the people of america? it's a straightforward question. this bill requires that they have a conversation with the people they regulate to make sure they understand what they're doing when they regulate. i understand full well. there are plenty of well-meaning people here in washington, d.c., that are serving our nation faithfully, but they don't know every state in the country. they don't know every business in the country. that's not what they do full time. they manage things here for the federal government full time, but they're given the responsibility to be able to promulgate rules and regulations that they may or may not have any idea even how that will be accomplished when they get there or the real costs to that. in the estimates that occasionally come up for the different costs, we find out later are much, much higher
10:01am
than were ever estimated by federal agencies. so this bill does a few things. in 1995, we said we're not going to put unfunded mandates on cities, states and counties or tribes unless there's a compelling reason to do so. then we can override that and do that. this also says that should be true to the american people as a whole, that we should not pour out some unfunded mandate across the entire economy unless there's some compelling reason to do so and then congress still has the authority to do that at that point, as needed. this also says there should be some sort of judicial review, so if someone in some agency makes a mistake, which we all as humans do, there is an opportunity to be able to respond to that, an outlet they can go to get justification for that. rather than having go back to the agency that created the rule and say, please change it, no, you can appeal it, so the person in the cubicle next to me, appeal it to them, this says, let's go to an outside entity. that seems to be an american
10:02am
system, if you have the difference of opinion, you're able to resolve it with someone outside the system. this is an opportunity to reconnect the federal government back to the people that we are sent to present. and to say it is essential that we close the loopholes that exempt out some agencies, that would close the loopholes that would allow agencies to move forward on putting down major regulations without evaluating those things and we allow a distinct opportunity for the american people and their own government to have dialogue again. and to say if we're going to resolve our differences on this and we're going to provide security and safety for people across the nation, let's do this, the least costly, least burdensome way possible. i support this bill. and i encourage my colleagues to stand with me to provide greater transparency and greater conversation between the american people and their own government and with that i yield back. the chair: all time for general debate has expired. pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule and shall be considered as read. no amendment to the bill is in order except those printed in
10:03am
house report 113-362. each susm amendment may be offered -- such amendment may be offered only printed in the report, may be offered only those designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable equally divided and controlled by an opponent and proponent, shall not be subject for amendment d shall not be sutched for demand for division of the question. it is now in order to consider amendment number 1. for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland rise? mr. cummings: amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 1 printed in house report 113-362 offered by mr. cummings of maryland. the chair: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from maryland, mr. cummings, and a member opposed, will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from maryland. mr. cummings: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm offering this amendment to strike section 5 of h.r. 899. my amendment would preserve the
10:04am
integrity of independent agencies. the unfunded mandates reform act currently exempts independent agencies. the bill we are considering would remove that exemption. that would mean that these agencies would have to submit their rules to the office of management and budget for review. congress creates independent agencies to be just that, independent. requiring these agencies to submit their rules for review by the white house no matter who the president is would be inappropriate. some of the agencies that would be impacted by this provision include the consumer product safety commission, the securities and exchange commission, the federal trade commission, the consumer financial protection bureau and the federal communications commission. this bill simply maintains the
10:05am
exemption for independent agencies that is current in law. i urge every member of this body to support my amendment and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from oklahoma. mr. lankford: mr. chairman, i rise to claim time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. lankford: independent regulatory agencies impose significant costs to our economy and that imposes those federal mandates on state and local governments and the private sector. the securities and exchange commission, national labor relations board, federal communications commission, just a few example of agencies that impose regulations without consideration of the actual cost or impact on that on the public. now, this bill does not prevent agencies from creating regulations. it gives the impression that this will be a wild west and all these agencies will be limited. it only asks them to consider the costs in the -- and the impact of those regulations and to have some conversation with people and how it can be done less burdensome or less expensive. according to 2011 administrative law review
10:06am
article, analysis conducted by independent regulatory agencies is generally minimum, required by statute. in many instances, the independent regulatory agencies appear to be issuing major regulations without reporting any quantitative information on cost. o.m.b. 2013 draft report to congress on the benefits and costs of federal regulations and unfunded mandates provides a limited view of the cost-benefit analysis conducted by a limited number of independent regulatory agencies. for major rules issued by agencies, included in the report, more than 35% were issued without any cost-benefit analysis at all. c.r.s. reports from fiscal year 2010 through fiscal year 2012, 57 major rules were issued by nine independent agencies but none of those rules included monetized cost-benefit analysis and less than 50% provide any estimates as to costs at all. cost-benefit analysis under umra are essential for transparent and accountable regulatory system. reporting on the analysis does
10:07am
nothing to compromise the independence of these agencies, and we know this because o.m.b. already reports on whether or not several independent agencies are conducting the analysis. including the federal trade commission, federal reserve and the commodities future trading commission. requiring these agencies are covered by umra, doesn't require the o.m.b. review or approval of the analysis, only that the agencies are accountable for considering the costs and the benefit of proposing an unfunded mandate on state and local governments and the private sector. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from maryland. mr. cummings: asry close, let me say this, mr. speaker. -- as i close, let me say this, mr. speaker. again, these are independent agencies. they could do cost-benefit analysis without requiring rules to do go through o.m.b. this amendment allows the administrator to hold up a rule if or she determines the agency didn't comply. i would urge members to vote in
10:08am
favor of my amendment and with that will close. the chair: does the gentleman yield back his time? mr. cummings: i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from oklahoma. mr. lankford: it is appropriate for independent agencies to review the costs and the actual content what they're accomplishing. that's an appropriate thing for every agency to do. we should count the cost before regulations are actually imposed on our economy. i would actually oppose this amendment. i have great respect for my colleague as well, but i have to oppose this. with that i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from maryland. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the gentleman from maryland. mr. cummings: i ask for a recorded vote on that. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from maryland will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 2 printed in house report 113-362. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition?
10:09am
mr. connolly: mr. speaker, amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 2 printed in house report 113-362 offered by mr. connolly of virginia. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 492, the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia. mr. connolly: i thank the chair. i'm proud to offer this amendment on behalf of myself, my good friend, congresswoman tammy duckworth of illinois. h.r. 899 boasts an orwellian title with attempts to deceive the public into believing that the unfunded mandates information and transparency act is simply an innocuous attempt to enhance transparency rather the subversive legislative assault on public health, safety and environmental protects that it truly is. h.r. 899 is simple low an effort to throw a wrench into the rulemaking process, ensuring that private industry,
10:10am
provided privileges and rights far above any other stakeholder in the regulatory process. in many respects, h.r. 899 represents the mitt romney principle on steroids, for it appears that in the minds of our friends on the other side of the aisle not only is it a fact that corporations are people, my friend, but under this measure, republicans appear to be embracing this that treats corporations better than people. regrettably, this bill provides private corporations with an unfair consultation advantage over every other stakeholder in the regulatory process. that is indefensible. under this bill, federal agencies would be required to consult with private industry before issuance of a proposed rulemaking. yet, it does not afford the same level of consultation to average citizens who rely on agency rules to preserve and protect their health, welfare and safety. there's no justification for enacting an irrational
10:11am
statutory framework that requires the federal government to consult with private firms, such as, for example, a large agribusiness firm, prior to proposing a rule that will impact that company, yet, does not require consultation for public health experts on everyday americans who will be forced to live with the consequences of a given regulation. i cannot defend a regulatory framework that would provide big oil companies, for example, a guaranteed right to weigh in before any drilling regulation is promulgated but would not require equal consultation with public interest organizations such as entities committed to protecting and preserving our nation's environment natural resources or the communities that could be directly impacted by such activities. to be clear, i strongly support the rights of industry to have an opportunity to provide comments on proposed rules. it fosters more informed quality rulemaking and benefits
10:12am
both business and broader society. indeed, that's why our current administrative procedures mandate that a public comment process be conducted to allow any individual or corporation to participate and provide input and feedback in an equal, fair and open process. that's current law. the amendment that congresswoman duckworth and i are proposing today would simply ensure that all participants in the rulemaking process be provided equal consultation rights with agencies. for example, as the ranking member, mr. cummings, noted earlier, if the u.s. department of agriculture were to have a rule in an effort to protect the health of everyday americans, our amendment would ensure that not only the agribusinesses but also food safety experts, children's health organizations, medical associations and scientific entities would also be provided an opportunity to consult with usda prior to the issuance of the proposed rule. i strongly urge all members to support our commonsense
10:13am
amendment, and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from oklahoma. mr. lankford: mr. chairman, i rise to claim time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. lankford: it may be a good moment to shine some facts into this debate. i agree that expanding the consultation requirement for the impacted parties is important. these parties have directed -- sorry -- these parties that are directly affected by regulations should have the opportunity to be able to voice concerns about feasibility, offer sensible corrections to people with expertise and years of experience. that's a large part of what this bill does. is that when a regulation comes down, impacted individuals should be able to come to the table to be able to discuss what is the impact of this. but this particular amendment is completely redundant. it requires that any opportunity for consultation afforded to imfacted -- impacted parties shall be afforded to representatives of all other impacted parties. well, umra already defines the private sector as individuals,
10:14am
partnerships, associations, corporations, educational and nonprofit institutions but it shall not include state, local or tribal governments since state, local and tribal governments are already covered in the unfunded mandates reform act, the original one. so i have to ask the question, who's left? if it already covers individuals, partnerships, associations, corporations, educational and nonprofit institutions, state, local, tribal, city governments, it covers everyone already. if you're impacted by legislation and by regulation, you should have the opportunity to respond to that. we completely agree. it's important to note this is not the only opportunity to offer suggestions and critiques. those not directly regulated by the rule will have input during the comment period as required by the administratives procedures act in the executive
10:15am
order. the idea that some people are being locked out of the process is incorrect. it's the people that are impacted, though that should have the first voice. that would be people impacted in the community. that would be people impacted in business or any kind of government. for example, in the current law, taxpayers and public workers are not required to be consulted prior to an agency proposing a rule that will put a federal mandate on the states and local governments. a mandate that could require public entities to shift resources that could affect hiring decisions or reductions in public works. anyone that's interested but not directly impacted have that opportunity to provide input, notice and complement stage, but this amendment, however, appears to repeat the consultation requirement that 899 seeks to provide. those members that want impacted parties to have an early voice that impose burdensome mandates on the private sector ought to just vote for the bill. adding a repetitive requirement creates ambiguity and for those reasons i oppose the amendment. i reserve the balance of my
10:16am
time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia. mr. connolly: mr. chairman, how much time? the chair: the gentleman has 90 seconds remaining. mr. connolly: mr. speaker, i don't quite understand the opposition of my friend from oklahoma. if it's duplicative then it's harmless. i think clarification to make sure that citizens have the same rights as special interests and corporations is actually a good thing to clarify. i don't think it adds ambiguity. i think it adds clarity which may be why my good friend opposes it. i would also ask that at this time a statement to every member of congress endorsing this amendment from the coalition of sensible safeguards be entered into the record. . the chair: that request is covered under general the chair: the gentleman from oklahoma has two minutes remain maining. mr. lankford: there are a lot of things i oppose in government. duplication is one of those. clarity is best done when it's clear and it's said one time and it's consist tent. it's already very clear,
10:17am
individuals, partnerships, associations, corporations, educational an nonprofit institutions are included in this. all those are impacted. you can step up in front of an agency and say we'll be impacted. you're a person. you're a citizen. you're an individual. you have an opportunity to be able to come and join into that conversation. we believe strongly that you should have the opportunity that you're impacted to get your voice heard. again, the federal government works for people. people don't work for the federal government. so when you're impacted, you should also have a voice as well. with that i yield back. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from virginia. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the gentleman from virginia. mr. connolly: mr. chairman, i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from virginia will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 3 printed in house report 113-362.
10:18am
for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas seek recognition? ms. jackson lee: i have an amendment at the deskment the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 3, printed in house report number 113-362, offered by ms. jackson lee of texas. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 492, the gentlelady from texas, ms. jackson lee, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from texas, ms. jackson lee. ms. jackson lee: let me thank the chairman for the time and to e two managers of this particular legislation on the floor, particularly to the ranking member for his leadership. and simply ask the question for those of us who have served in this body the time when the unfunded mandates' original legislation was passed what possible addition this particular amendment can have. let me first start off by saying
10:19am
that i appreciate the good intentions of work that is brought to the floor of the house, but i want to remind my colleagues that as we speak the growing numbers of the uninsured continue to rise. and the emergency unemployment insurance has not been passed by this body. in fact, not passing unemployment insurance is an unfunded mandate. for what we do as we say to the states that 1.3 million, 1.5 million plus, including family members, of individuals who have worked and who are out every day looking for work, are no longer the responsibility of anyone here in the federal government. after the states have maxed out on their 26 weeks, we simply throw these people into the streets. i would imagine that states and nonprofits may have to address their needs through homeless shelters, through food banks and
10:20am
soup kitchens, and other municipalities, resources that they can scrabble together. and so it is interesting that we are here discussing an unfunded mandate, and as we speak millions of americans are suffering because we have refused to address an important issue. in addition, the minimum wage has thrown throngs of individuals into the claws of desperation on the lack of raising it, which i have signed a did he pigs, a discharge -- a petition, a discharge petition to do so. i ofert my amendment which simply indicates if the benefits exceed costs to regulated benefits -- benefits exceed the costs, then this industry or the industries of this particular provision would not be covering. it clarifies that the provision of the bill do not apply if a cost benefit analysis demonstrates that the benefits of a regulatory action exceeds
10:21am
its cost. my amendment improves the bill by ensuring regulatory actions need to protect the public health safety and environment can be promulgated and implemented and not be signed by dilatory tactics. the jackson lee amendment is strongly supported by the coalition on sensible safeguards, and organization comprised of more than 150 public health scientific consumer, environmental, labor, financial, and public interest groups. let me say something that i think my lesion -- colleagues need to know that's distinctive about this amendment. there is a requirement that federal agencies consult with private corporations, and i heard my good friend say that the federal government is for the people, not the other way around. but guess what? there is no requirement for consultation with stake horlsde or the public before proposing any new rules. -- stakeholders or the public before proposing any new rules. i must consult with private corporations. many of us represent them. we appreciate the work they create, but none of the stakeholders need to be
10:22am
consulted with. so i ask my colleagues to support the jackson lee amendment and i reserve my time. the chair: the gentlelady's time is reserved. gentleman from oklahoma. mr. lankford: i rise to claim time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. lankford: i can tell you i am all for a cost benefit analysis, but the challenge of doing a cost benefit analysis comes down to who is doing the cost benefit analysis and what are they putting into it? there's been multiple times we have had conversations about a cost benefit analysis, and there's been a pushback to say let's check the map on that later and see if we actually got the benefit that was proposed that we received that benefit. benefit analysis in particular under scrutiny by academics, even under the obama administration. the benefits of the rule were up to $90 billion a year. far above their $10 billion a year cost. less than .01% of that $90
10:23am
billion in benefits was attributable to actually reduction in mercury. instead, nearly all the benefits came from reductions in fine particles, a pollutant not the purpose target of the regulation itself. the co-benefits accounted for 2/3 of the benefits of the economically significant rules in 2010. this administration's padded the benefit analysis with private benefits. in the fuel economy standards, for instance, for cars and light strucks, nearly 90% of the $338 billion in lifetime benefits were benefits to consumers such as reduced fuel consumption and how about this one? shorter refueling times. private women fits -- benefits account for 92% of the benefits in energy efficient standards, and 70% energy efficiency standards for refrigerators. the private benefit accounting is a claim depriving consumers of preferred choices would make them better off. benefits like fuel savings are worth more to consumers than
10:24am
realized. to exclude regulations from analysis based on faulty and misleading benefits analysis would only encourage distortion. the identified burdensome new mandates for the parties that have to bear the burden. you see that company bears the burden, that cost gets passed on directly to consumers. so this quote-unquote private benefits that you're going to get more benefit than you thought would you get or see, doesn't offis the the cost they do see coming out of their paycheck when gasoline's more expensive, groceries are more expensive, electricity is more expensive. often parties who pay the cost of these regulations are not the same parties that actually enjoy the benefits. even if a rule is predicted to have a net benefit impacted enconstituents should be made aware of sizable new burdens imposed by federal mandates. for this reason i do oppose this amendment and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman's time is reserved. the gentlelady from texas. ms. jackson lee: i inquire of the time. the chair: the gentlelady has 90
10:25am
seconds remaining. ms. jackson lee: let me quickly say that in the previous bill it was well noted that there were exemptions dealing with constitutional issues, civil rights issues, and so my amendment is in track on line with the original bill that gave exemptions. with that i reserve my time. the chair: the gentlelady's time is reserved. the gentleman from oklahoma has two minutes remaining. mr. lankford: mr. chairman, you he want us to move forward on this bill. i want the american people to know that their government serves them and that individuals are able to be able to speak back to their own government when their government is imposing a regulation on them. i think that's entirely reasonable. for any affected party to be able to engage in conversation with their own government. i think it's entirely appropriate. this is long overdue. in 1995 umra bill was written with large loopholes that exempted out agencies, exempted out different agencies. it created a environment where its beneficial to the agency to
10:26am
distort the costs. let's get back to what we should do. not people trying to sneak in rules. not people trying to sneak in different cost benefit analysis. let's have conversation again between the american people and the government that they are in charge of. with that i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady from texas who has 1 1/4 minutes remaining. ms. jackson lee: i thank you very much. i thank the gentleman for his analysis, but let me offer to him that first of all this particular legislation will be subject to a veto threat because as the president has noted there is already a robust analytical and procedural requirement. i agree there should be that. we already have it. and the coalition for sensible safeguards has indicated the jackson lee amendment is a commonsense amendment that makes clear that regulations whose benefits the public health safety exceed the cost of regulated industries are good public investments. this amendment is a necessary amendment. the jackson lee amendment says if it's a good public investment , and it helps in order to
10:27am
clarify some of the untoward provisions of this legislation that will require an interaction with a private corporation but never talking to the public. mr. chairman, if we are for the people, they should at least be there to be inquired of what do you think? and finally, let us end the unfunded mandate of not passing unemployment insurance extension and not lifting the minimum wage. that's an unfunded mandate. i ask my colleagues to support the jackson lee amendment because it clarifies and it puts the people first. i join with my colleague. this is a place for people. we are the ones, the people, who run this government. give them an opportunity to consult under this legislation. support the jackson lee amendment. with that i yield back, mr. chairman. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from texas. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have t the gentlelady from ks t ms. jackson lee: mr. chairman, i ask for a recorded vote. the yeas and nays. the chair: pursuant to clause 6
10:28am
of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from texas will be postponed. pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, proceedings will now resume on those amendments printed in house report 113-362 on which further proceedings were postponed in the following order. amendment number 1 by mr. cummings of maryland. amendment number 2 of mr. connolly of virginia. amendment number 3 by ms. jackson lee of texas. the chair will reduce to two minutes the minimum time for any electronic vote after the first vote in the series. the unfinished business is the request for recorded vote on amendment number 1 printed in house report 113-362, by the gentleman from maryland, mr. cullings, on which further proceedings were postponed and i would the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 1, printed in house report number 113-362, offered by mr. cummings of maryland. the chair: recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote.
10:29am
[captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
10:30am
10:31am
10:32am
10:33am
10:34am
10:35am
10:36am
10:37am
10:38am
10:39am
10:40am
10:41am
10:42am
10:43am
10:44am
10:45am
10:46am
10:47am
10:48am
10:49am
10:50am
10:51am
10:52am
10:53am
10:54am
10:55am
10:56am
the chair: on this vote the yeas are 185. the nays are 224. the amendment is not adopted. the unfinished business is request for recorded vote on amendment number 2 printed in house report 11-362, by the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, on which further proceedings were postponed and which the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk: amendment number 2, printed in house report 113-362, offered by mr. connolly of virginia. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote.
10:57am
[captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
10:58am
10:59am
11:00am
11:01am
the speaker: on -- the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 194, the nays are 216, the amendment is not adopted. the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on amendment number three printed in house report 113-362 by the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee, on which further proceedings were postponed, and oon which the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk: amendment number three printed in house report 113-362, offered by ms. jackson lee of texas. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having ripsen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. once again, this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
11:02am
11:03am
11:04am
11:05am
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 180, the nays are 232, the amendment is not adopted. there being no further amendments, under the rule, the committee rises. the speaker pro tempore: mr. chairman. the chair: mr. speaker, the wholewhole -- the committee of the whole house on the state of the union, having had under consideration h.r. 3192, reports
11:06am
the bill back. the speaker pro tempore: the chairman of the committee of the whole house on the state of the union reports the committee has had under consideration h.r. 99 and reports the bill back to the house. under the rule the previous question is ordered. question is on engrossment and third reading of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the third reading. the clerk: a bill to provide for additional safeguards with respect to imposing federal mandates and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the house will be in order. would members please take their conversations from the floor, clear the aisles, take your seats.
11:07am
let the house be in order. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> i have a motion to recommit at the desk. the speaker pro tempore: is the gentleman opposed to the bill? >> i am opposed. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman qualifies. the clerk will report the motion. the clerk: mr. garcia of florida moves to -- >> i ask to dispense with the reading. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection. the motion is considered read.
11:08am
the gentleman from florida is recognized for five minutes. mr. garcia: thank you, mr. speaker. this is the final amendment to the bill. this will not delay the bill. this will not kill the bill. this will not send it back to committee. if adopted, the bill will proceed immediately to final passage as amended. mr. speaker, we should all be table agree that just as it's absurd to say that all regulations are good, it is absurd to say that all regular ligses are bad. unfortunately, bill does just hat. it assumes that all regulations are bad, it weakens or delays them and even those that advance important bipartisan priorities are going to be heard. that is why my amendment is so important. it will ensure that this bill
11:09am
does not create unnecessary hurdles in several important areas, including those that help veterans find jobs, keep health care safe and affordable, and rebuild communities after natural disasters. mr. speaker, this is -- there is probably no issue where there is more bipartisan support than in the need to support our nation's veterans. those who have risked and sacrificed more than anyone else deserve us to help keep them safe. veterans, veterans like my constituent george martinez who found a job through the program for vocational rehabilitation and employment and important -- an important program overseen by the v.a. this bill unfortunately weakens or delays regulations that help veterans. like george -- that help veterans, like george, find jobs when they lee the service.
11:10am
it would have delayed an important regulation that was finalized last year, a regulation that requires contractors to set goals for hiring veterans and lists job openings so that veterans can apply for them. according to estimates, findation could ultimately additional employment for 200,000 veterans. with unemployment for veterans from iraq and afghanistan be being at almost 10%, we should not be delaying this kind of regulation. mr. speaker, my amendment also would keep the bill from creating unnecessary hurdles and regulation that protects patient safety. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman sill suspend. the gentlelady is correct. the house will be in order. the gentleman deserves to be heard. the gentleman may continue. mr. garcia: this bill would
11:11am
unnecessarily create hurdles for regulations that protect patient safety in hospitals and nursing homes and lower out of pocket costs of health care. these are especially important issues in my home state of florida where 70,000 nursing home residents live. more than almost any other state in the country. these are our parents. they're our loved ones who should receive the best care possible in their latter years. that is why we must ensure that nursing homes remain a safe place of rest and care for our seniors and remain an affordable option for those who need them that is exactly what my amendment will do. finally, finally this amendment will ensure that the bill does not create unnecessary obstacles for regulation that helps protect and rebuild communities after natural disasters. in south florida, we all know -- we know all too familiar the
11:12am
devastating effects of hurricanes and natural disasters when they streak. rebuilding communities in their aftermath can take years and as my constituents in homestead know all too well, that is why we need to move forward with my amendment. we need to have an amendment that ensures this bill does not weaken or the lay regulation that facilitates the recovery and rebuilding efforts. mr. speaker, at a time when we face so many important issues, we here in congress need to come together and do what's right. i urge my colleagues to vote yes to ensure that we support unemployed veterans, keep health care safe, and affordable, and protect our communities from natural disasters. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time they have gentleman from oklahoma. -- yields back his time. the gentleman from oklahoma. mr. lankford: mr. speaker, this
11:13am
bill assumes one thing. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman oppose the motion in mr. lankford: i do. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lankford: this bill recognizes that regulators are human. we believe that this nation became strong because the federal government had limited power. you see, i believe, and we believe, that the american people aren't looking for much from us. they just want the unfunded mandates to stop. someone in washington decides they have a good idea and suddenly everyone has to pay for their new good idea. it seems obvious that before a major rule is put into place, the regulators should have a consultation with the people that will be affected to see if there's a better way to do the same thing. three years ago, i walked into this chamber. many people know i don't come from a political background. i served in churches where, of course, there are no politics. i can tell you that the american people do not want this city to
11:14am
tell them what to do. they don't want to -- they want this city to protect their rights and leave them alone. as a new representative i was surprised at the vast majority of businesses that i interacted with that didn't come to me asking for something, they said how can you make this stop? i'm sure everyone read the federal register today, there's a new regular ligs today that decreases the size of an orange. you cannot be an orange in america unless the department of agriculture tells you you're an orange and there's a new regulation defining an orange. but there's also 330 meage rules that have come out in the last few years that increase and have an impact on the economy of over $100 million each. the american people are fed up with washington. not because we can get nothing done, but because we already -- we are already doing too much. everyday people -- every day people wake up to a new regulation, they can't wait to read the federal registry to see
11:15am
what happened to their business and their life last night. the opposition to this bill seems to be that it will make the government's workrd -- work harder. our fear is that the government is making people's work harder every single day. people are worried about how to pay for things and it's slowing down the economy. every mandate that's pass, the economy slows down more. c.b.o. once again this year forecast again for the next 10-year forecast that the economy is continuing to slow down even more. listen, the prevailing attitude in this town that washington knows best had to stop. it is the responsibility of the states and the nations to carry out their wishes, not the responsibility of the states and people to carry out the wishes of washington, d.c. a lot of people all over this nation can make good decisions and this perception that washington is smarter than everyone else is absolutely not true. i come from a place that many in this town call flyover country. it may surprise you thoo planes
11:16am
actually land in flyover country and when you get off the plane, do you know what you find? smart people, people who balance their budgets, serve their neighbor and love their kids. they're not helpless. right when they get their budget and family back in place and in balance, washington has a new plan for their budget. many people didn't realize those tough choices were on them. the energy company in my state producing electricity has a new regulation on them and the compliance -- the speaker pro tempore: the entleman is correct. the gentleman from oklahoma may proceed. mr. lankford: mr. speaker, many people across america are finding out the tough choices that the president has statuted has to come on america are coming on their budgets. in my state electricity prices are going up. $1,500 per meter, per meter
11:17am
simply because of a new aesthetic air quality regulation. not dealing with health. just dealing with aesthetic air quality by this administration. when families try to figure out their paycheck and why it's not going farther? they should ask why does beef cost more, health care cost more, local taxes going up, and insurance costing more? it's not the evil capitalists on wall street, it's the osha ocean of new regulations taking every spare dime from america's budget because someone here in washington thinks they know better. listen, whether it's a farm or whether it's on an energy platform or whether it's this chamber that passed the bill two years ago straight down the party-line vote that told every american that they cannot pick the health care they wanted last year they had to pick the one washington approved. they couldn't have the same doctor, they had to pick one that washington approved. they couldn't pay what they choose to because they wanted to
11:18am
go to the hospital washington chose. the costs are going up as well because washington put a new tax on medical twices like a dental crown, knee replacement, or pacemaker so right when they are getting hit with medical bills they'll get hit with a new tax as well. what a great idea. the problem is this government has grown and grown over decades. it is time to turn this around. now is the moment to guff the miles per hour people back what they need back. that is freedom from the ongoing regulation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. without objection the previous question is ordered on the motion to recommit. the question is on the motion. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the noes have it. the gentleman from florida. recorded vote has been requested. those favoring a recorded vote will rise and be counted a. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. this five-minute vote on motion to recommit will be followed by a five-minute vote on passage if ordered. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute,
11:19am
inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
11:20am
11:21am
11:22am
11:23am
11:24am
11:25am
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 192. 218. as yeas nays are the gentleman from maryland. recorded vote is requested. those favoring a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is
11:26am
ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
11:27am
11:28am
11:29am
11:30am
11:31am
11:32am
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 234 and the nays are 176. the bill is passed. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
11:33am
11:34am
11:35am
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman rom maryland seek recognition? mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to speak out of order for one minute for the purposes of inquiring of the majority leader the schedule for the week to come. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. my friend i yield to the majority leader, mr. cantor. mr. cantor: i thank the minority whip for yielding. on monday, the house will meet at noon for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business, votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m. on tuesday and wednesday the house will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and noon for legislative business. on thursday, the house will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business, votes are expected no
11:36am
later than 3:00 p.m. on friday no votes are expected in the house. i expect one of the suspensions we consider to be the bipartisan flood insurance bill. in addition the house will consider a number of bills to address the middle class squeeze brought on by the increase in home heating costs. this winter has been one of the cold nest recent memory and people are running their heaters longer to keep their families warm. last fall, the information administration predicted 90% of u.s. home households would see an increase in energy costs. america does not work if middle class families are taking home less. to lower the cost of heating a home, to increase paychecks for middle class americans, and to build an america that works, the house will consider the following bill. hheat act, to
11:37am
make it easier to transport profane to areas with shortages. the rapid act sponsored by representative tom marino. h.r. 2824, the preventing government waste and protecting coal mining jobs in america, authored by representative bill johnson, protect coal mining from excessive federal regulation. and h.r. 3826, the electricity security and affordability act, sponsored by representative ed whitfield, to protect electric utility plants from excessive and burdensome, overly burdensome e.p.a. regulation. finally, mr. speaker, given all the problems americans are facing with the rollout of obamacare, the house will consider the simple fairness act, this bill will provide relief and fairtons individuals just as the administration has done for businesses by making the individual mandate penalty $0 for the remainder of the
11:38am
year. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for the information he's given to me. i want to comment on one of the statements he made which i agree , in which, mr. speaker, he just told us, again i agree, america doesn't work if middle class families are taking home less. i would urge him, consistent with that statement, in recognition of the fact that america works better when working families are making better wages, that we would hope the minimum wage could be brought to the floor. as the gentleman i'm sure knows new york 2013 dollars, the minimum wage would now be $10.57, if it were at the same level it was over 40 years ago in 1968. the minimum wage has eroded very
11:39am
substantially in its purchasing power and its ability to give middle class families, as you say, and america, a decent take home pay. we believe both the minimum wage and unemployment insurance extension for the 1.8 knoll two million people who have lost their safety net is both hurting the economy and obviously hurting families. so we agree very strongly with the gentleman's statement. obviously the bills he refers to, he believes will also have an effect on this issue. but i would hope that you would seriously consider bringing the minimum wage and unemployment insurance to the floor. we believe, although frankly i don't have a precise count on your side of the aisle which i'm sure does not shock you, that both of those bills would have the votes on this floor as the speaker has indicated, to work
11:40am
its will and to pass those pieces of legislation. i hope the gentleman would consider that. secondly, mr. leader, we're pleased that flood insurance is moving ahead, we hope. we want to thank you for your efforts that you've made on behalf of this. i know that ms. waters from the financial services committee has been working very hard on our -- working very hard. on our side, we very much want to see the relief extended to those who have been confronted with extraordinary increases in premiums which are particularly unsustainable for middle class families but for almost everybody. we appreciate the work you've done with ms. watters to make sure that the protections extended are sufficient, certainly in the short-term but hopefully also in the long-term. to meet both the objective of making it sustainable for families, but also over the long
11:41am
term, fiscally sustainable for the nation. immaterial to thank you for that. we look forward to considering that next week and hope that will be on the floor next week. if the gentleman wants to comment further, i'll yield to him. mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman for his comments about the issue of flood insurance and the need to sustain the effort to return to actuarial soundness in that program. at the same time, to have a -- to have affordable and sustainable increases in premiums which is important for the actuarial soundness of the program. i appreciate that, look forward to the bipartisan effort next week on the floor with that. as to the gentleman's comments, mr. speaker, about the minimum wage and unemployment insurance extension, you know, it's interesting, you look at the constituents that we need to focus on, those individuals who struggle to get through the
11:42am
month, to pay the bills, those struggling at their job each week with wages that have not increased in real term -- real terms in a decade, we could do something on the floor of this house that would be beneficial if not more so, to the economy and would address the concerns that we have about decreasing wages. and that is we could roll back the 30-hour workweek rule under obamacare. if we were to do that and return it to 40-hour workweek again, that's a 25% increase in weages, we could do that and the weabling earner at men mum wage would be about $2 off from where that wage earner would be if you -- if you follow what had the gentleman suggested and raidsing the minimum wage to $10.10. but the added benefit is that
11:43am
c.b.o. has warned, you don't have to go about harming job creeeags prospects at the same time. which means increasing minimum wage as c.b.o. suggested could very likely result in less jobs being created. so we can do this without harming the prospects of job creation and help those constituents right now who have been struggling for so long. that's how we can make america work again. let's get america back to work, more americans working. as far as the gentleman suggests -- suggestions about u.i., at the end of the day, what we need to do and i think what most of our constituents who are out of work would like is they'd like a job. what we know today is there is a mismatch in terms of the job openings and the skills that those who are unemployed have. and we passed a bill on the floor of this house called the
11:44am
skills act and it is something, i've spoken to the president about it, i've spoken to the vice president about it, i would like to work with the gentleman, mr. speaker, to see if we can resolve the differences on that bill that has passed this house to get the senate to act so we can finally get the un-- chronically unemployeed in this country back on a path to productivity, give them a hope so they can get a job again, they need the skills. with that, i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank my friend for yielding. let me say to him, i will ask my staff, they usually to what i ask them to do, next week, sit down with your staff and to talk about the skills act. we have differences, it was passed on a largely partisan vote as the gentleman knows, but i agree with hem. as you know i have an agenda we call make it in america and it deals with skills, deals with a 21st century work force
11:45am
education and so the objective we agree upon and i will certainly look forward to working with him on the specifics to see if we can get an agreement, a consensus, so we can pass a bill that accomplishes those objectives because we share those objectives. let me say, mr. speaker, it's interesting, talk about the minimum wage, the majority leader answers, mr. speaker that yes, the value of wages has decreased but if we increased the affordable care act to 40-hour. criteria, less than that, 39 hours, no health care would necessarily be available to those workers that you would encrease their sally by 25%. now, on that theory, mr. speaker, perhaps if we increased the workweek to 80 hours a week we could double their pay. or perhaps we could triple their pay if you increased it to 120 hours a week.
11:46am
but frankly, it has eroded. the minimum wage is not worth what it was and very frankly in 1969 this committee -- the economy was not going bust. we were not hemorrhaging jobs. we were doing pretty well. frankly, c.b.o. has said that some 25 million americans, some directly, some indirectly, would be advantaged by increasing the minimum wage and paying a wage that did not leave a worker in the richest country on the face of the earth in poverty. : working 40 hours a week. that's not an ack isable alternative in america. we have raised the minimum wage periodically. we raised it last, of course, when the democrats were in charge of 2007. we raised it to $7.25 over time. it's now $7.25. but it is substantially less and it replaces 36% of average wage
11:47am
as opposed to in 1968 replacing 54% of average wage. so, mr. speaker, i would hope that, yes, we can take other steps that the majority leader has pointed out. i think we perhaps can reach agreement on. but we ought to recognize that we expect people who can and are able to do so to work in america. but they also expect us to pay them a wage on which they can have some degree of financial ability to support themselves, family, and to live decently in america. i would hope that we could do that. lastly, mr. speaker, let me discuss a bill that we believe will help the economy greatly, chamber of commerce believes it will help the economy greatly. farm owners believe it will help the economy. it's the broadest coalition that
11:48am
i have seen in the country on an issue in many respects, evangelicals, roman catholics, jews, other faiths have said, 70-plus percent of america says we ought to pass comprehensive immigration reform. mr. speaker, the speak, speaker boehner came forth with some principles. in my state just a few weeks ago for moving forward on that comprehensive immigration reform. we would -- we are very -- we were very positively impressed with those principles. we may not have agreed on every suggestion, but we thought it was a very good basis to move forward and have a discussion and bring comprehensive immigration reform to the floor. as tom donahue said was absolutely essential, tom donahue, the president of the chamber of commerce of the united states of america. so that i would hope that, mr. leader, and mr. speaker, that we
11:49am
could bring that to the floor, have a debate, have consideration of it. my view is it has the votes in the people's house to pass. if it were brought to the floor. i would hope that that could be done. and with that i will conclude, may have one remark or so, but i yield to my friend the majority leader. mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman for yielding. and underscore or respond to that that i don't believe that there is requisite number of votes in the house to pass the senate's comprehensive immigration bill. we have taken a position on our side of the aisle, we are not for that bill. the gentleman rightfully points out that the speaker and our leadership put out some tandards to provide a path for discussion about how we go about addressing a very broken immigration system. the problem is, mr. speaker, we don't have a lot of trust on our
11:50am
side about how this administration will implement the laws we pass. nor do i think, mr. speaker, one could blame us given the track record of this administration in seemingly unlaterally making decisions of how to implement a health care law when it tonight work. and this is the -- when it doesn't work. and this is the frustration and lack of trust that has result interested those kinds of actions. we do need to restore the trust in our government for the people that put us here. we do need to address a very broken system, but the administration or anyone's insistence that somehow everything has to be addressed right now or our way is not something that is going to sit well, especially given the fact that there is not a lot of trust given the lack of what we believe would be full and faithful execution of the laws as to what is going on with the
11:51am
health care law and others on the part of the administration. i don't in any way accept the status quo, i would say to the gentleman, on immigration, but we've got to work to see a way forward that can provide a better way. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. mr. speaker, frankly, i have heard this trust argument before . that would be an argument for not doing anything because you don't trust the administration to execute the laws, therefore don't pass any laws. i think that's a make weight argument, mr. speaker, and very frankly there is a way to see who's right on this, i tell my friend, the majority leader. the majority leader says he doesn't believe that has the votes on the floor. there's a wonderful way to test that. bring it to the floor. we'll see who's right. the american people, over 70% of them, believe that we ought to pass comprehensive immigration reform. in polls, polls on their side of
11:52am
the aisle, polls on our side of the aisle, independent polls, largely agree over seven out of 10 americans believe we ought to pass this bill. in fact, seven or very close to seven out of 10 of their representatives in the other body voted for comprehensive immigration reform. they had a vote. they brought it to the floor. it passed overwhelmingly. it has sat here for months. unattended. maybe that's our alternative. very frankly there have been alternatives passed out of the judiciary committee and out of homeland security committee by the republicans. they are not on the floor, either, mr. speaker. so no immigration alternatives have been offered for a votop -- vote on this floor, the people's house, a house in which the speaker said when he took the gavel here, the people's will will be reflected, because we'll bring things to the floor. -- accusedd of us of
11:53am
us of not doing that. now i suggest they are following a policy that they severely criticized and said was wrong. if they were sincere then, we would simply ask the majority leader to bring the bill to the floor and see if he's right or if i'm right. to see whether we have the votes or we don't. the american people deserve that vote because they are overwhelmingly for that vote. and then they can take their own view from there as to who they agree with and who they don't agree with. unless the gentleman wants to make further comment, i yield back the balance of my time. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. cantor: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that when the house adjourns today it adjourn to meet on monday next when it shall convene at noon for morning hour debate and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
11:54am
we will now entertain one-minute peeches. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from missouri seek recognition? >> permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to recognize dr. abner womack, professor emeritus at the university of missouri for receiving the distinguished service award. this is the highest honor awarded by the american farm bureau. mrs. hartzler: he has used his expertise to build an internationally he renowned food and agriculture policy research inns tute that provides high quality analysis for congress and the usda. this system of statistical models allows congressional members and their staffs to analyze the effects and tradeoffs of competing policies. dr. womack's academic integrity
11:55am
is evidence of a nonpartisan reputation. however, his reach far exceeds that of capitol hill. i want to commend him for her.his tireless effort to reach out to farmers around the worrell. his fashion for agriculture and vast knowledge of statistical models paired with his ability to effectively communicate complex ideas in a commonsense manner have made him a priceless asset to all he encounters. again, i want to thank dr. womack for his lifelong efforts and recognize him for this achievement. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? p without objection, the gentleman -- without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. johnson: thank you. i rise today to urge my fellow colleagues to allow an up or down vote on h.r. 1010 which would difficult at least 25 million americans a pay raise. for the many americans most of
11:56am
whom are women who work 40 hours that'sat $7.25 per hour, $290 a week that comes out to $15,000 per year, just barely above the federal poverty guidelines. in america no one should have to work full-time and raise their family in poverty. in georgia alone raising the minimum wage would give more than 500,000 hardworking people a raise. most americans support raising the wage, but my republican colleagues refuse to give it a vote. obviously many of them have never experienced life working at $7.25 an hour. the american people are calling for an economy that works for everyone where a hard day's work earns a decent day's pay and everyone has the opportunity to build a brighter future. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek
11:57am
recognition? mr. thompson: mr. speaker, unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. today i rise in the house as original co-sponsor of h.r. 4100, the local organization cooperative agreement facility maintenance act or the local act. for the past several years u.s. army corps of engineers has partnered with local nonprofit organizations to cooperatively manage and maintain recreational facilities at lakes and reservoirs on these federal lands. in my district a group in huntington county have been able to collect and retain user fees again rauted from the public's use of the lake which they then reinvest to perform operations and maintenance on that site. recently the administrative rule forced the corps to terminate these agreements. they should be commnded for their volunteerism, not penalized by washington's bureaucracy and the local act will allow these and other
11:58am
agreements to remain in force. i would encourage my colleagues to support the local act, to ensure the army corps can continue these cooperative agreements that are good for the community, good for the taxpayers, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leaves of absence requested for mr. upton of michigan for today and mr. westmoreland of georgia for today. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the requests are granted. under the speaker's announced the of january 3, 2013, gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. gohmert: thank you, mr. speaker. interesting times in america. for most of us who went to law
11:59am
school, we were taught that for an adversarial system of justice, of law to work, there has to be active participation on both sides of an issue, of a person charged with a crime. on defense or litigation over a law itself. so chairman goodlatte from here in virginia had -- just across the river in virginia had called a hearing in judiciary this week. we had another about the constitutionality or lack thereof of actions by this administration, and it's very alarming, professor johnson totally with whom i disagreed on any policy issues, has a
12:00pm
wonderful grasp of the constitution, and he recognizes the dangers when administration decides to pick and choose which laws will be enforced and goes further and issues executive orders not like prior administrations that simply explain on most occasions or illuminate some law as to how they think it's to be interpreted, but to actually make law in executive orders. that's just unconscionable for somebody that took an oath to defend the constitution. . so i can't recall times aye agreed with the "l.a. times" before, but they had an editorial that indicates even the "l.a. times" understands the danger of what's going on right now in this country, with this
12:01pm
administration. we have an attorney general who produce requested to documents lawfully, informally, refused to do so, been subpoenaed to produce information, documents, has refused to do so, unlawfully. to the point that the committee d a hearing and ultimately found the attorney general of the united states in contempt of congress, which came to this floor and in a very unusual action, found the attorney general, the highest law enforcement officer in this country, in contempt of congress. basically, in contempt of the onstitution.
12:02pm
this has far wider implications than most in america seem to grasp because when the highest law enforcement officer in america refuses to comply with the law, holds himself out as being above any law, creates laws that he wants to defend, at least the administration creating laws that they want to defend or follow, and actually say in this room, i'm just -- i had the president of the united states say in this room, i'm going to go around the congress if you don't do what i want, i'm going to go around the congress. are mifications for that so staggering to anyone who has
12:03pm
contemplated the founding of this country that it's beyond words. you know, the founders set up hese checks and balances believing that surely there would be people in the judiciary, although they saw that as the least powerful branch, though it's now become the most powerful, they saw congress as always being willing to defend its own laws, even to the point of defunding anything in the administration that did not protect and defend the law, they saw a president as standing up and refusing to follow things that were not the law they felt like each branch would judiciously protect their own powers under the constitution and that balance would allow this nation to go forward as the
12:04pm
freest nation in the history of the world. but today we are living in a time where all of that is in jeopardy when one branch can act to the total disregard of another branch or other branches. we have seen that with executive orders that just completely hange the law as written and completely intentionally disregards the lew of the land. staggering. the "l.a. times" had an editorial, february 27, that talked about the attorney general's posture on just picking and choosing which laws would provide -- he would provide a defense for. mr. speaker, i stand here as
12:05pm
ameone -- as a prosecutor, as lawyer, as a judge, as a chief justice, who at times absolutely did not like laws, particular laws, but knew if this nation were to remain for years to come , we had to either change the law legally or as lawyers, as officers of the court, as judges, as chief justice, we had to follow the law. back in the 1980's, i was ordered by a state district an appeal to represent a man on appeal in -- after having been convicted of
12:06pm
capital murder. i was then, as now, a very conservative person. i went to the judge after i got the call that i was going to be appointed and begged the judge not to appoint me, thafse doing civil trial work, i wasn't doing criminal work, please don't appoint me to appeal a criminal conviction becauseville to go back to school to do a propper judge of representing a man on appeal of the death penalty and i knew if he appointed me, because i took an oath to support and defend the constitution of the united states, i would spend incredible hours to make sure i properly represented the plan on appeal even though i didn't know any more about the facts of the case than i'd read in the papers.
12:07pm
and from the papers, i got the impression that he had probably gotten what he deserved. but the judge appointed me to appeal a capital murder conviction in which the department was sentenced to death. i didn't want the case, didn't ask for it, begged not to have it. but i knew that if our system was to work, i had to do everything ethically and legally i could to present my client's side of the case. and as i got into it and i read the entire long, long transcript, every word of it, i realized the man had not gotten a fair trial. and unknown to the district attorney and the assistant district attorney had acted
12:08pm
inappropriately and caused great harm and jeopardy to the case for the defense. i did the very best i could for my client legally and ethically and the case was reversed at the highest criminal court in texas. even when, as attorneys, we would disagree with the law, and as we have heard from this attorney general and people in this justice department over and over, even when swurn -- even when someone is absolutely convicted, clearly is a criminal, they deserve a proper defense. so how this administration and this attorney general and this stice department can justify picking and choosing which laws
12:09pm
they will defend and which laws they will let fall without a efense, is unimaginable. for people who have learned anything about our constitution. we have to zealously represent the clients, the laws that are ut before us to represent. this administration has now repeatedly chosen not to defend some laws when the highest law enforcement in the land we know tually was willing to help convicted, absolutely known criminals to get pardoned, to get lighter sentences, we bring people in who have fought, or at
12:10pm
least one individual who fought murderer of acted police officer who the evidence indicated stood over him after he shot him and shot him repeatedly, a police officer. and yet the attorney general can justify bringing someone in, the president can justify bringing someone in by saying, oh, no, everybody is entitled to a defense. that's how our system works. and then when he has a constitutional only fwation to produce documents to congress, just says, i'm going to ignore that requirement of the law, i don't care. and not only am i going to ignore that requirement of the law, even after the extraordinary event of having
12:11pm
the united states house of representatives declare the highest ranking law enforcement officer in the country to be in contempt of congress, which is really in contempt of the constitution, still has the nerve to come in here during the state of the union, which is eally thumbing the nose at the constitution, at congress, that i willig forethe law, i won't follow the laws i don't like, i won't defend the laws i don't like, and then this week, actually go out and tell state law enforcement officers, highest ranking state law enforcement officers that in essence, if they don't like the law, then don't defend it. this editorial just in part from the "l.a. times" points out that
12:12pm
six states' attorneys general have declined to defend the bans on same-sex marriage in court, got some encourage from u.s. attorney general eric hold for the a speech to the national association of attorneys general, holder said it was sometimes appropriate for attorneys general to abandon their usual obligation to defend the constitutionality of state aws. same sex supports marriage unreservedly but we worry that this will embolden attorneys generals, liberals and conservatives, democrats and republicans, to pick and choose which of their state's laws they will defend in court. it also says, further down, yet when attorneys generals are
12:13pm
elected as in 43 states, the temptation will be to transmute a popular political stand into a constitutional objection. even if holder is right that attorneys general should refuse to defend state laws in, quote, exceedingly rare, unquote, circumstances, those laws ought to be defended by someone. further down they point out that they probably will react differently, however if a future attorney general refused to defend the constitutionality of statutes that treat attacks on gays and lesbians as hate crimes. and i would imagine this attorney general would find that unconscionable but once we begin to ignore the law and become a , and that's je for
12:14pm
the ex, including men and women, whoever is in authority, instead , then we n of law come, we become like the nations that so many people try to flee to come to america because there's graft, there's corruption, because the rule of law is not followed. it's whatever the dictator, the drug group, whatever the people in power think should be the law ll be the law and it becomes an unbearable place to live. here is a reason that fences end up being built around a country not to keep people in as in the soviet union days, but because people want to come flooding in, which would
12:15pm
overwhelm our country, overwhelm our ability to provide government services, and end the ability to be a nation where people want to come. there's a reason. because we have been a nation of laws that applied the law fairly across the board. leerily. because the government is composed of human beings, there will be mistakes, there will be abuses, but even in abuses, even presidents have been held to account. hat keeps us being a nation of laws. but when the highest ranking law enforcement officer in the country refuses to provide information to congress that he lawfully is required to produce, this country is in grave jeopardy and i am pleased that even the "l.a. times" has gotten
12:16pm
a glimpse of the potential problems here. . in a couple of different hearings, i asked the highest ranking officer in our country for the production of documents that were provided to the defendants, defendants who were convicted of supporting terrorism, making them terrorists, asked for the copies of the documents that were provided in discovery to convicted terrorists. i've been told, well, there could be classification problems. as i've pointed out, you gave them to the terrorists, you can give them to members of congress. and after yet another request last june in writing, months and months later i finally get
12:17pm
a response that in essence that says, here's the website where you can look at some of these documents and we have 500 documents that were introduced at trial and so that should take care of it. no, it doesn't. the justice department gave terrorists thousands and thousands of pages of documents , and even in the u.s. circuit court of appeals, fifth circuit opinion, they point out that so were 9,600 or transscripts of -- transcripts of recorded conversations. those were given to the people convicted of terrorism. and yet this justice department refuses to allow members of congress to see those. you know, the founders had the
12:18pm
idea there would be oversight and that congress would supervise what happened in the executive branch and that provided that balance of power to keep us from moving in the rection of a monarchy or a totalitarian government. and yet when this body finally gets around to some oversight, it is dismissed. and what do we do? we vote to hold the attorney general in contempt and then allow him to remain in contempt without consequences. perhaps the proper remedy under the thinking of the founders is if an attorney general refuses to enforce the laws that
12:19pm
congress passes and other presidents sign into law, then -- defund the individuals particular individuals in the department of justice until such time they start doing their job. ou don't defund the people out enforcing the law, protecting the country, but you defund those people who are thumbing their nose at the constitution and that proper legal constitutional oversight. we haven't done that. and so the american public, the laws and the constitution remain at risk because people who have defended terrorists d worked to get even
12:20pm
terrorists lighter sentence, pardon, things like that, they don't think laws duly passed by congress, signed into law by president and upheld by the supreme court are worth defending. and then, not only don't stop there, actually start telling the highest law enforcement officers in the country that they should start ignoring laws in rare cases but ignore the laws when you don't think they're appropriate. so we also know we have a justice department that, in their efforts to avoid making any radical islamist terrorists from think we might not like them, started outreach programs under the prior administration.
12:21pm
i asked the prior f.b.i. director, since you say this muslim community is like every other community in the nation, you know, how are the other outreach programs going with licks, ists, the catt the buddhists, -- the catholics, the buddhists, the jews? there isn't any outreach program. there are violent people in every religion, but as thomas jefferson was so shocked to find out, there is one religion that has a small component of it that believes that a sure way to paradise is to kill innocent men, women and children because they don't those religiously like radicals do.
12:22pm
it's the reason thomas jefferson got his own copy of the koran that the library of congress still has. he wanted to see for himself. he was so well-read. he couldn't believe there was a religion that had a book, a holy book for a basis that would allow anyone to interpret it in such a way as to kill innocent men, women and children. there have been, to be sure, purported christians over the ages that thought it was their duty to go about and brutalize people who were not christians, but anyone who studies the teachings of christ about how we're to individually act knows those would not have been christians doing the kind of iolence that they did.
12:23pm
it's not supported by the bible . what is supported in the bible is if you do evil, be afraid because god does not give the government to sort in vain. individually we're not supposed vigilantes, but there is in an orderly society a need to have a government that will punish evil and encourage good conduct. and this little experiment in he democracy in a republican rm of government is so fragile, and it bothers me when i read and hear those words from ronald reagan that freedom is never more than one neration from being gone and
12:24pm
even more troubling that a generation that loses liberty does not get it back in that same generation. i've hoped that i would find a time and place where reagan was wrong about that, but i have not yet. being we see liberties lost, privacy rights being violated right and left by our federal government, all kinds of snooping on american citizens without probation -- without probable cause, not only by the n.s.a. -- and certainly they have the highest cause for which they're working our protection, but yet when
12:25pm
our privacy is completely worth -- is our safety worth losing all of our privacy completely? we lost a dramatic amount of our privacy when, without a single vote from the republican side of the aisle, the democrats in the house and senate passed what they called the affordable care act that has become so unaffordable. because the government will get everyone's medical records. so i was a bit staggered, maybe too naive, but after i heard people speak so emotionally from the heart about the protection of privacy and what happens in the bedroom, i was a little staggered over these years to see people on the democratic side of the aisle,
12:26pm
were nds over here, who so thrilled to be giving every bit of private information about their most private body parts, about their most private activities to the government in whole, in bulk, and even say that's not violation enough, let's do a contract with general electric and let them keep these records for us. it's not like the government and private industry can't be hacked. alk about loss of privacy. i really don't have anything to hide in any of my medical records, but it's nobody else's business and yet wholeheartedly people rushed and applauded the giving of all of that most
12:27pm
private information to the federal government. and this week, i've been so proud of my friend, jeb hensarling, chairman of the financial services, trying to rein in this consumer financial -- wow, what a misnoemer -- protection bureau that's -- misnomer -- protection bureau that's gathering information about our credit cards, our debit card activity, our loans when these are supposed to be, you know, private between us and our lender. as long as there's proper oversight to make sure they're not violating the constitution, but when the federal government , as they are, starts getting all of our debit card and credit card information, they now have all our medical ecords that they're getting,
12:28pm
they're now watching and had the ability to check every email, check websites you visit , had the ability to examine every log, every call that you make. people who once said i was crazy for giving this example some years back may begin to realize i wasn't so crazy. when mple was this -- the federal government has the obligation to supervise every aspect of your health care, you ive government-run health care , force it on the people of this nation and you have that same federal government thack monitor every credit and -- that can monitor every credit and debit card purchase you make and they know where you go online and they can go into your emails, is it so hard to believe that at some point,
12:29pm
some american citizen would not get a letter from the federal government saying, well, we notice that you purchased bacon and butter at the grocery store this last weekend and we also noticed that your cholesterol level is over 200. what were you thinking? we can't let you do something like that so we're going to have to punish you. we're going to have to start charging you more money, we are going to have to start supervising your opportunity. you are going to have to start working out. we saw you let your gym membership lapse. you are not going there anymore. we can follow your g.p.s. you are not going to the gym like you were. you need to stop buying butter and bacon and we won't punish you financially like we are
12:30pm
now. is that so hard to believe that could start happening when you give the government this much private information, then liberty is sure to go shortly thereafter? it's been written and said different ways over the years in quoting benjamin franklin. some say he didn't say it but basically he certainly advocating that those who are willing to give up liberty for their safety deserve neither. how much of our privacy and liberty are the american people willing to give up just so that we can feel a little safer? because when you do that, you will not be safe from your own government. your own government then becomes the biggest threat to your liberty, to your freedom. and things that brilliant
12:31pm
colleagues on the democratic side of the isle have said over the years about our liberty and about our privacy are really becoming an issue now and i'm not hearing my friends across the aisle that raised these important points now talking about them. and i know then you have someone -- i know when you have someone in the white house that's from your own party, it's tough to stand up and say, this is a mistake, this is wrong. but it's time that friends across the aisle, senators who are democrats, start standing up in numbers and saying, enough. you have usurped too much power that the constitution gave to congress and just because you don't like the fact that we take a long time and it is not pretty
12:32pm
to see laws being made doesn't mean you get to skip the whole process. the founders wanted gridlock. they wanted it tough to pass laws. they didn't want us meeting year-round like we do. i'm sure if the founders were around today they would be appalled that we meet as much as we do. and then some people back in east texas say, gee, why aren't you in washington, i say, you're safer when we're here. it means we're not passing another law that takes your liberty away. the founders wanted some gridlock, they didn't want it too easy to pass laws because they knew when that happened, every little emotional issue that came up would cause congress to run in and pass something even though the moment was fleeting and we should not be doing things quickly and emotionally. thomas jefferson was not part of the constitutional convention in philadelphia in 1787.
12:33pm
he was amazed at how good thing to be yumet but he's reported to have indicated that if he could change one thing, he would make it a requirement that before we could pass a law, it had to be on file for a year. make sure people had plenty of time to discuss it. man, do we see how good an idea that would be. we didn't just run in here and do things out of emotion and we would never, ever pass another bill so we could find out what was in it. now, my party has not done anything as blatant as ramming through -- my copy was around 2,500 pages of obamacare, but we've had some bills that we have not been given time to read and to properly go through.
12:34pm
we were going to take up a flood insurance bill yesterday and i'm grateful that it got moved off because we hadn't had enough time to know what the bill is actually -- has actually got in it, word for word. summaries are not enough on many occasions. sometimes if it's not a big deal, yeah, a summary may do it. but somebody needs to be looking at every word besides some staffer. and that's one of the benefits of going through what we call here regular order. that the subcommittee gets to have a markup where they discuss every part of the bill and anyone can offer an amendment to any part of the bill. and then it goes to the full committee and anyone at the markup can offer an amendment to any part of the bill. and it gets debate and discuss, that's a good process.
12:35pm
and i believe that when we took the majority, we would do even better than we have. listen, we've done a lot better than the four years from january of 2007 to when we got the gavel back in january of 2011. i mean, i was apalled at the it letely closed rules, how was just staggering, we had no input, nearly half of the country basically had no representation at all on all of the important bills because they just rammed them through without any input from republicans who represented democrats and republicans. they didn't get represented in those districts. it is important, no matter who is in charge, it is really a crit -- unless it is really a critical issue that needs
12:36pm
immediate laws passed, changes made, that we fully vet every law that we pass. we had an over criminalization hearing today. one of the huge mistakes, and it has been a very bipartisan over all these years, when members of congress on both sides of the aisle want to show how strongly we feel about something and how tough we are, we slap a prison sentence on things. and one of the greatest injustices that congress has done is to pass laws that say, any violations of the regulations under this law will carry a term of imprisonment. holy cow, that means in an estimate today in our hearing,
12:37pm
was that there are probably 300,000 regulations, the violation of which carries a prison sentence that congress has never seen, never debated, knows nothing about. we've heard testimony from people who have been sent to did some act, had no idea there was a law against what they did, and did time in prison as a result. whether it was the man from houston who was doing business during retirement by raising orchids and ordered some orchids from south america, they were sent to him, but the proper forms were not filled out by the people that sent them to him and under the law, any violation of those postal regulations
12:38pm
requires time in prison so what happened? he was arrested in his home in houston and since the law gives choice of venue and it had been mailed through miami, they took him miami where he didn't even know anybody, didn't have the money for bail, and ends up doing 18 months in prison during which time he had a stroke, he couldn't testify, his wife had to. the poor guy -- or the poor guy from washington state that was trying to create a better battery, he had every chemical properly stored and one day driving home, the e.p.a. swat team had black suburbans come up behind, to the side, in front, force him off the road, yanked
12:39pm
him out of his car, throw him to the ground, handcuff him, throw him in jail, and then drag him to alaska, his heinous crime was that when he mailed a chemical to alaska, legally, properly, he didn't know that it was not enough to check the box that it had to go by ground, it couldn't go by air. he didn't know that you needed a little sticker that had a picture of an airplane with a red line through it. that stick we are a plane with a red line through it had to be on there and since he didn't do that, that caused him to deserve to be run off the road by the e.p.a. swat team, thrown to the ground, handcuffed, hauled up to alaska, put in prison, and when he got acquitted of that, justice department wasn't happy with it so they looked around
12:40pm
and realized when they ransacked his home he had every chemical operly stored, but there's a law that says if you ever abandon these certain chemicals for over a certain number of days, then you committed a federal felony, and even even though it was the federal government that forced him to abandon those, and even though they were properly stored, he was in jail in alaska and away from the chemicals beyond the time that the law allowed, so he went to prison for abandoning chemicals because the government drug him away them. these are the kind of laws that are out there and we ought to pass a law in this body that may no criminal penalty attach to violation of any
12:41pm
regulation unless this congress has passed a specific law putting a criminal penalty on that specific regulation. we should not be able to leave it to bureaucrats to decide what becomes an offense punishable by imprisonment. so when you take the violations of privacy that have now been passed into law, all of our medical records, now our credit card, debit card records, our emails, all of our phone logs, all being usurped and grabbed by the federal government, and couple that with the abuses that we have seen over the years by the federal government of ople's rights under color of law, and understanding that when this federal government violates your rights, your privacy, your
12:42pm
freedoms, you have nowhere else to go there is no appeal to anyone else, it's time this body and the senate took action to make sure the justice department follows the law, doesn't just pick and choose, that we make sure the white house doesn't just make up law out of whole cloth and decide which laws that they liked and which ones they didn't. there are oaths involved here and there should be cons agains for not following them. and then we need to investigate urther these executive departments who think they are above the law. and when members of congress duly request documents that were provided to people convicted as
12:43pm
terrorists, and we're told that terrorists can have them but you members of congress cannot, then it's time to defund people that will not abide by the law and will not participate in proper oversight. and it's also time we had a select committee that properly investigated benghazi, it's time we had a special prosecutor, not some big donor to the president, to investigate this horrendous scandal in the i.r.s. that not only has smidgens of evidence, it has overwhelming evidence of eople's rights being violated. it's time that we started making sure as a congress that people who enforce the law actually enforce the law.
12:44pm
we have seen the desire by this islam tration to embrace as closely as possible and i know the attitude is that we bring people close from islam into the administration and that will help us get across that we mean no ill will. the trouble has been we have brought foxes into the hen house o give advice to the chickens. a report in the last couple of weeks, the clarion project had been making freedom of information act requests and they finally got some documentation that shows, and this article indicates, from the
12:45pm
clarion project, that the clarion project investigation has discovered a jihaddist enclave in texas where a deadly shooting took place in 2002. declassified f.b.i. documents obtained by clarion confirm the find and show the u.s. government's concern about its links to terrorism. . the enclave belongs to the network of muslims of the americas, a radical group linked to a pakistani militant group. its members are devoted of sheik few barrack ali jilani, an extremist cleric in pakistan. the organization says it has a network of 22 villages around the u.s. with islamburg as its
12:46pm
main headquarters in new york. obtained project footage female members receiving military training at islamburg. it was featured on "the kelly file" on fox news. it shows the spokesman declaring the u.s. to be a muslim majority country. a 2011 f.b.i. record states that m.o.a., muslim of america, members have been involved in at least 10 murders, one disappearance, three firebombings, one attempted firebombing, two explosive bombings and one attempted bombing. it states, quote, the documented propensity for violence by this organization supports the belief the leadership of the m.o.a. extols membership to pursue a policy
12:47pm
of jihad, or holy war, against individuals or groups. it considers enemies of islam, which includes the u.s. government. members of the m.o.a. are encouraged to travel to pakistan, receive religious and military terrorist training from sheik jilani. the document also says that, quote, the m.o.a. is now an autonomous organization which processes -- possesses an infrastructure capable of planning and mounting terrorist ampaigns overseas. other f.b.i. reports describe the m.o.a. in similar ways with a 2003 file stating, quote, investigation of the muslims of americas is based on specific and articulate facts giving justification of belief they are engaged in international terrorism.
12:48pm
m.o.a. members believe the holiest site in the country is located at the islamville commune in south carolina. other m.o.a. entities include the international koranic open university, united muslim-christian forum, islamic post, muslim veterans of america and american muslim medical relief team. on further down, the m.o.a. refers to its texas commune as mamoudburg, online instructions for a parade in new york in 2010. a posting on an islamic message board in 2005 advertised a speaking engagement in houston by someone from mahmoudburg. according to the reports, the commune is seven to 10 acres large, is in extremely wooded area and two or three trailer
12:49pm
homes moved there in december of 2001. however, members visited the area as part of clarion's project for investigation and interviewed one nearby local who confidently said it's closer to 25 acres in size and spoke of a presence dating back to the late 1980's. further down, the f.b.i. report in 2007 that one commune resident used to be a leader at the m.o.a. commune in badger, california. at site was called baladoulla. in march, 2001, one of their members was arrested for france porting guns between new york and south carolina. another was charged with murdering a police deputy that caught him breaking and entering a home. interviewed residents all agreed that m.o.a. are private
12:50pm
yet when they were spotted in the area they were immediately approached. one point a commune resident gave them a final warning to leave despite the fact they weren't even trespassing or had a racing m.o.a. members. it's definitely very threatening and menacing, an act member told me. one is a police officer. according to a nearby neighbor, one used to drive trucks for the u.s. army in kuwait. further down it says, police were denied -- this was after a shooting in 2002 out at the site -- police were denied access to the trailer homes, were not allowed to directly interview the women who covered their faces in their presence, communication with the women had to be done by passing notes through a male intermediary. anyway, this was the subject of an email from one of my college friends and one of my other college friends sent an email
12:51pm
in response saying, this could not possibly be true because the mainstream media would have been all over this. if this were really true. ll, the report of these 22 villages is true and the mainstream media has not, does not, probably will not cover it because the administration i don't want to make anyone uncomfortable who might be radical islamists. another article from fox news insider, february 20, talked about the 2007 f.b.i. record stating that m.o.a. members had en involved in involved -- involved in at least 10 murders.
12:52pm
other f.b.i. reports described m.o.a. in similar ways with a twee file stating -- with a 2003 file stating, based on the facts -- this appears to be factual information. it was obtained from f.b.i. records. it seems to be consistent with the prior administration, though they brought muslims in to give advice on dealing with radical islam, they pursued terrorists like in the holy land foundation trial. there were around 200 or so named co-conspirators in the holy land foundation trial. the goal, as one of the prosecutors told me, was to get those convictions if they could and they knew it would be the most important biggest terrorist convictions in american judicial history, and if they got those, then they would go forward and start
12:53pm
prosecuting others of the named co-conspirators who were not indicted but were named. and we know there's plenty of evidence out there regarding co-conspirators because there were some co-conspirator who is had a motion filed with the court to have their name struck from the pleadings. and those that examined the evidence in dallas said, no, there's plenty of evidence to say that care, council american lamic relations, or large -- are large front groups for muslim brother heed, went up to the fifth circuit and the fifth circuit confirmed there was plenty of evidence to support their names being part of it. yet, this administration continues to coddle and get information and instruction from care, isna, the president of isna, continues to be a
12:54pm
highly praised advisor to this administration. so when people across the country say this couldn't possibly be true because the mainstream media would have been all over it, i can't believe our federal government will allow this kind of thing to go on. well, the reason it has, even though f.b.i. reports continued to say over the years that these appear to be violent and associated with violent activities, the state department, under this administration continues to refuse to list the muslims of the americas as a terrorist organization which means they t to continue to build villages, to train in paramilitary fashion around the country from texas, south carolina, new york, california, across the country until such time as this administration gets serious about what's going
12:55pm
on. the information from an article this week. this article from "national review" online, convicted terrorists worked as an obamacare navigator in illinois. shouldn't be a surprise this kind of thing has happened because we found out that these so-called navigators, under obamacare, what might be more appropriately entitled the unaffordable care act, these navigators are being allowed to gather people's most personal and private identityification information -- identification information but they are not being vetted. we've known from the beginning when the law kicked in that the navigators were not vetted for prior criminal activity. so we shouldn't be surprised that there was a convicted terrorist that worked as an obamacare navigator in illinois.
12:56pm
then we have people finding enrollees finding it impossible to cancel their plans. more than six weeks later, weekly standard reports, after spending 50 hours to 60 hours on the phone, this man's policy is not canceled. so much for freedom when it comes to health care in this country under obamacare. another report published foxnews.com, obamacare may increase premiums for 11 million workers. anyway, it should be clear that even though we heard a staggering statement by the democrat majority leader in the senate that people that were reporting the horror stories about obamacare, pointing out how the affordable care act really isn't as devastating that these were lies, they were
12:57pm
not true. well, proper investigation reveals they are true. there may be some that have made stories up. when we get stories we fry to look into, are these really legitimate, but what we find is most of them are easily documented and easily legitimate. obamacare is doing massive damage across the country to people's employment, to their health insurance, to their ability to see the doctor that they want and in some cases the doctor that's been keeping them alive. another report, obamacare may increase premiums for 11 million workers. well, i know it's increased them a lot. i can't afford the new policy that would be required, like my old one, wasn't craze pee about it. aetna had some problems, we never got worked out.
12:58pm
still, i had more freedom of choice before. mr. speaker, the bottom line is when the federal government has become so big and so intrusive that it gathers everyone's phone logs in the united states , can check into any phone calls made by anyone in the and the ytime, federal government gathers everyone's most personal medical information, when the federal government gathers people's debit and credit card when ses to protect them, the federal government can use drones to monitor, can monitor email activity, websites visited and then that same
12:59pm
government can say we're not going to follow these laws because we don't like them, don't think they're proper and we're going to change the law over here because congress didn't and we prefer to have a law that says this so we'll follow that, then it's no wonder that a constitutional turley, like jonathan liberal as he is, would express dire concerns about how long we can maintain this country. we owe the american people an obligation to proper oversight, force them to follow the law. and with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island seek recognition? mr. langevin: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. langevin: thank you, mr.
1:00pm
speaker. mr. speaker, today i rise in recognition of career and technical education month. let me say how proud i am to work alongside my colleague, congressman g.t. thompson of pennsylvania. my good friend and fellow co-chair of the bipartisan congressional technical education caucus. c.t. is in the investment of the future of our economy, our work force. from skills training in high schools, to community colleges and professional programs, c.t.e. plays a key role for workers at every age. mr. speaker, i'm pleased that the consolidated omnibus appropriations act of 2014, which passed in january, increased authorization amounts for perkins by $53 million for f.y. 2014. that's in sharp contrast in terms of the cuts that had c.t.e. in in perkins since 2010. so with that i urge my colleagues on the appropriations committee to fully fund perkins in the upcoming fiscal year and make important investments in career
1:01pm
and -- career training. all too often, mr. speaker, i hear from rhode island employers that they have job openings right now but are unable to fill local skilled workers with the expertise necessary to fill the position. closing the skills gap is an important step in making sure that workers fit the needs of expanding industries. with that i look forward to continuing my partnership with congressman g.t. thompson and i urge all of my congressional colleagues to join the c.t.e. caucus and i ask them to fully support funding perkins in f.y. 2015. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. nder the speaker's --. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013,, the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, is recognized for 60
1:02pm
minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. engel: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i think this is a good time to reflect on a couple of things. one is certainly iran, the other is certainly ukraine. i think that the american people obviously have a very important stake in what's going on in both countries. in ukraine and kiev we see people marching for freedom demanding the kinds of freedoms that we in the united states are used to. the freedoms that we hold so dear in our country. and we saw them initially being countered by brutal police attacks on them. but you know, mr. speaker, a right prevailed and the people in the streets won, and they
1:03pm
clearly said that they don't want to have russian domination, but instead they want to look toward the west rather than look east. the european union has been for ating with ukraine some time, and their president now deposed said that he would rather work with russia and to the russian customs union, which is sort of, in my opinion, a rekindling of the old soviet union, and that angered many people in the ukraine and they took to the streets. i hope that the european union continues to make overcures -- overtures to ukraine. i think now is a very, very critical moment in that the united states has a role to play with our european allies to try to tell the people of ukraine that we would like them to look
1:04pm
westward and that in looking westward there will be opportunities for their country. i always -- i'm concerned if there are too many stringent rules and regulations put up before a country can affiliate with the e.u., and at the same time putin is saying he has all this billions and billions of dollars and makes it seem like it's a lot easier to go with putin. this is one of those rare visceral moments when i think action by the united states and our allies in the european union will make the difference for generations to come. and i would hope that we would deal with the ukraine in a ben nevillent manner so -- benevolent manner so that they could say yes, we want to look westward, it's going to help our economy. it's going to help our people. there are serious problems in
1:05pm
ukraine. their economy is in shambles, and of course this' been a total lack of freedom -- there's been a total lack of freedom and democracy, and the people of ukraine demand no less. i think that secretary kerry and -- was absolutely right and the president was absolutely right in telling russian president putin that he he better think twice before he considers any kind of military intervention in ukraine. that is not something that can be or should be tolerated, and russia must understand that it cannot be a business as usual. if they make any military moves into ukraine, it's going to cost them a great deal in their relationships with the united states and with our european allies in the european union. it can't be business as usual. which leads me to iran. we are in very delicate
1:06pm
negotiations with iran right now. the one thing that everybody agrees the p-5 plus one is that at the end of the day iran must not be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. i have been very critical of the iranian regime through the years and continue to be so. what i. me especially is that while they are negotiating with us, they are continuing to wreak havoc in all different parts of the world. iran remains the leading supporter of terrorism throughout the world. in fact, if we look just next door into syria, and we know that the syrian civil war is a real mess, we have jihadists pouring into that country even more so than they poured into iraq at the height of the iraq war. we have all kinds of foreign fighters. and assad was on the verge of being kicked out of power by his
1:07pm
own people. he was losing the civil war. we had the free syria army, the people who really are for democracy in syria. and assad was losing that war. then what happened, mr. speaker, iran unleashed its proxy, its terrorist proxy, hezbollah into syria, and hezbollah entered the war in syria on the side of assad. and that turned the war, unfortunately, to assad's favor. so now we are in a position where assad doesn't want to negotiate, doesn't want to sue for peace, certainly doesn't want to negotiate his own exit from power in syria, which we all thought was imminent just a few months ago, and he feels he he has the upper hand because is ally, iran, has changed the course of the war in there by unleashing their proxy, hezbollah, a terrorist group, to
1:08pm
fight on the side of assad. so assad has essentially become an iranian puppet in his own country. and that is iran continuing to do all kinds of mischief while they are negotiating with us. ostensibly so that they would not be allowed to have a nuclear weapon at the end of the day. we know that the israelis have taken matters into their own hands, and when he they see weapons are being transferred to hezbollah, they will do what they need to do to protect their own security. so i think the way putin must understand he cannot have it both ways, i think that the iranians need to understand it as well. iran must not be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. they are a theocracy and i think that we all think that they are
1:09pm
having nuclear weapons would cause a proliferation of nuclear weapons all throughout the area. the middle east. certainly if iran were to have a nuclear weapon, and that must not happen, saudi arabia, egypt, turkey, united arab emirates, so many other countries would feel the neal as well to get nuclear weapons and -- feel the need as well to get nuclear weapons and we would start a chain of events and who knows how it would end. i believe that we have to be very, very crystally clear. i hope that these negotiateations -- negotiations, the p-5 plus one with iran, bear fruit, but i think iran must understand that we are not backing off. we are not going back. that nothing short of their not being able to produce a nuclear weapon is acceptable. and iran must dismantle its
1:10pm
nuclear weapons program. that is not something that just the united states wants, that is something that the negotiations are really and truly all about. i have said before that it troubles me that while we are negotiating with iran, iran continues to enrich uranium. it would seem to me that if the iran had good intentions, it would at least understand that if the purpose of the negotiations is that iran -- at the end of it iran will not be allowed to have a nuclear weapon, then it didn't seem so great for me to say to iran, while we are negotiating, while we are talking, while we are talking about you not having a nuclear weapon, you need to stop enriching while the talks are going on. now, iran refused to do that loosening y wanted
1:11pm
even further sanction it is they were to stop enriching. and to me it shows intent, malevolent intent on the part of iran. i just think that in our negotiateations we have -- negotiations we have to be resolute and we have to be clear that at the end of the day iran must not be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. t the end of the day iran must dismantle its program. at the end of the day we have to make sure that there is no light between us in terms of the p-5 plus one, and that we are all demanding the same thing from iran. i think that we are united on this. i believe that everyone iran to s that for have a nuclear weapon it is totally and absolutely unacceptable. the united states has many interests in the middle east,
1:12pm
and i think it is very important that we work closely together th our partners, israel, egypt, saudi arabia, jordan, united arab emirates, and others who also believe very strongly that iran must never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. so, mr. speaker, i think it's important as these negotiations are going on that we set these parameters and that iran must understand that it is unacceptable for them to have a nuclear weapon. we may have negotiations. they may have a new president. he may be a little softer than the previous president, with you let's remember -- but let's remember he he was allowed to run in the iranian elections and that means that as moderate as some people would like to believe he might be, six hardliners were allowed to run, he may be the most moderate of all the hardliners, but he's
1:13pm
hardly a moderate. all the moderates were disallowed to run in office, and the supreme leader, ayatollah khomeini, clearly calls the shots. everything is very delicate and we hope and pray that these negotiations work well. i support the negotiations. i support the administration, but bottom line, again, is that iran must never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. is e that our minority whip here, and i'd like to ask him if e would like to join me. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. mr. speaker, i want to thank my colleague, the ranking member of the foreign affairs committee, for his taking the time here to
1:14pm
discuss two critical problems that confront us. first of all the crisis that is ongoing in ukraine, and the negotiations that are currently under way with iran. mr. speaker, i rise today mindful of the words of president kennedy, who urged us never to negotiate out of fear, but never to fear to negotiate. while rooted deeply in the cold war's tense climate where nuclear war loomed over us all like the sword of damocles, its admonition is relevant today as it was then. today we face a starkly different world, a world in which the chief threat to democracy, freedom, and prosperity is not a rival state's superpower but a complex and dangerous nexus of terrorism , instability, and autocracy. america has not shied away from
1:15pm
the challenges this new reality presents. we have taken the fight once against terrorism to al qaeda and its allies wherever they hide, and we continue to promote piece, peace, democracy, and individual freedom. together with our allies in europe, asia, and the middle east, we have worked carefully and with determination to confront one of the most dangerous threats to global security and stability in our day, the prospects of a nuclear armed iran. the extremist regime in tehran is hurting america's interest across the region. those interests are the safety of our troops stationed in the region, regional stability and prosperity, the prevention of an arms race that could spiral out of control, ensuring that weapons of mass destruction do not end up in the terrorists' hands, the protection of trade routes and resources that fuel economies across the world.
1:16pm
and safeguarding our ally israel. iran continues to be the leading state sponsor of terrorism, directed against america and our allies, supporting hamas in gaza and hezbollah in lebanon. a serious civil war has grown more deadly. iran remains a primary backer , assad, who ctator has gassed his own people and continues to target civilians. secretary kerry said just last week that iran, along with russia, has actively been working to subvert the negotiations aimed at ending the bloodshed in syria and moving the country towards a peaceful transition of power. iran's leaders continue to vilify israel and its people, calling for the annihilation of the jewish state, something
1:17pm
israel, america and the world will never tolerate. let it be absolutely clear, mr. speaker, the united states will always stand by israel. and let it be even clearer to iran and to the world, america and its allies will never accept a nuclear armed iran. a nuclear weapon would give iran the ability to carry out its threats against israel. it would destabilize the middle east. it would put american troops and our european allies at risk of catastrophic attack. that is why, mr. speaker, president obama and congress have worked together to enact the toughest sanctions regime in history and bring our allies together to enforce those sanctions. the employment of sanctions to compel iran's compliance with international norms has been a bipartisan goal going back
1:18pm
several congresses and several administrations, republican and democratic. that is because america's as y with regard to iran, president obama forcefully and repeatedly emphasized, is not containment but prevention. we have made to the ayatollah that those that conspire with him to spread terror and use it as an instrument, that we will use every necessary asset at our disposal to deny iran a nuclear weapon. while the military option remains on the table, as president obama and secretary kerry have made absolutely clear, we now have an opportunity to achieve our goals without resorting to the force of arms. that is the most desirable alternative. it is our duty and obligation
1:19pm
to seize that opportunity. america is great, mr. speaker, not only because of our military might but because of our moral might, our unwavering commitment to the power of human freedom and dignity that overcame communism and will overcome the terror and tyranny facing the world today. kennedy was right, mr. speaker. we must never negotiate out of fear, and we are not, but neither should we fear to negotiate and we are. and our objective is clear. the iranian regime did not resume negotiations last year because it somehow had a change of heart. iran altered its approach because the sanctions passed by congress, enforced by the administration and supported by our allies are having a ofound affect on the iranian
1:20pm
-- effect on the iranian economy. they signaled a stop to the confrontation to the west which was undermining their economic well-being. the joint plan of action that was signed in november of last year is the result of those sanctions and that election, but the authors of the policies pursued by iran over the last four decades, the mullahs, remain. iran agreed to the joint plan of action, not because it wanted to give up its nuclear ambitions, as it said, but concluded that its national interests were better served by temporarily halting its progress towards a nurke weapons capability -- nuclear weapons cameability in return of sanctions relief. but that interim agreement is only a first step. it makes important progress, but it does not provide the comprehensive, long-term
1:21pm
assurance we need that iran has abandoned and will not again pursue its goal of a nuclear weapon. , very omprehensive football agreement that prevents -- verifiable agreement that prevents them from pursuing a nuclear will help our objectives. given iran's history of deception and denial, any agreement must include reliable independent, intrusive and unfettered verification that iran is abiding by its commitments and such a verification regime remains permanently in place. mr. speaker, ronald reagan's admonition to verify is doublely essential in light of -- doubly essential in light of there being no basis of trust and that the consequences of breach are too catastrophic.
1:22pm
among the commitments iran must meet has to be the end of its pursuit of nuclear weapons, and compliance with u.n. security council resolutions and cooperation with the international atomic energy agency's robust and effective certification activities. mr. speaker, u.n. security resolution 1737 states, and i quote, iran shall, without further delay, suspend the following proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities. all enrichment related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, to be verified by the iaea and work on all heavy water-related projects, including the construction of a reactor moderated by heavy water to be verified by the iaea. this is the international community acting through the
1:23pm
united nations speaking, not only ourselves. mr. speaker, the world has a responsibility to ensure that hese goals are attained, but let there be any doubt that should diplomacy fail -- and all of us hope that will not be the case -- but if it does, our military is, as secretary kerry aid last week, ready and prepared to do what it would have to do. when iran's leaders issue threats, we ought to remember theress ons of the 20th century when -- remember the lessons of the 20th century when tyrants were not responded to nor heeded. history teaches us that the only way to change the behavior of regimes that threaten regional or global peace and stability is to stand up to them and hold them accountable. that is exactly what the united states and our allies are now
1:24pm
doing. in my view, iran came to the negotiating table and signed the joint plan of action in hope that it might gain extended sanctions relief without having to give up the path to a nuclear weapon fully, irrevocably -- and it's time we make clear to the iranians that the only path toward regaining its economic footings is to comply fully with the joint plan of action and quickly conclude a long-term comprehensive agreement which assures compliance with u.n. security council requirements and elimination of nuclear arms capability. until that objective, mr. speaker, is met, there must be no doubt that all relevant sanctions will remain in effect and be fully enforced.
1:25pm
mr. speaker, i commend the administration, particularly the president, secretary kerry and my dear friend, assistant secretary of state, wendy sherman. i commend them for the steps they have taken to enforce these sanctions and penalize those who seek to violate them. it ought to be clear to nations and companies around the world that iran is not open for business. there must also be no doubt that if iran violates its current commitments or fails to reach an acceptable final agreement the temporary sanctions relief will be canceled. all sanctions will be restored, and the congress will act to put additional sanctions in place. it will either comply with u.n. security council and iaea determinations and foreclose any pathway to a nuclear weapon or it will face economic
1:26pm
decline and increasingly painful consequences. that is not our objective, for eye -- iranian people. the united states does not seek war, but we will not take any option off the table to prevent iran from acquiring the most dangerous implements of war. while i remain skeptical, i support the administration's efforts to achieve a diplomatic resolution to this threat to our national security and to global security. mr. speaker, these talks are a test, a critical test, but they are also an opportunity for iran, for the p-5 plus 1 nations and for all the world to seek a peaceful resolution
1:27pm
f this critical situation that confronts the international community. until now, iran has failed every test and has refused to negotiate in good faith, ignoring the will of the international community. and i would add, the best interest of the iranian people. we must see whether this time the pressure of sanctions means that iran is serious about reaching an agreement to dismantle its nuclear infrastructure permanently and with ongoing verification, abandon its sponsorship of international terrorism, respects the rights of its citizens and determines to be a positive participant in the community of nations. or, on the other hand, if it continues to follow the path of
1:28pm
international outliar, fermenting instability and terror in its regions and around the world. mr. speaker, the iranian people are the inheriters of a great history and culture. they have given much to the world, including a long tradition of art, culture, science, innovations and math. they are people for whom we rightfully have great respect, but we cannot, must not, will not allow their leaders to continue to put the world at risk. mr. speaker, i support president obama and his administration's efforts to resolve this dangerous confrontation through the ongoing negotiations. as i have said, we pray for their success. the fruits of that success will be sanctions relief for iran
1:29pm
and its people. if it continues, however, its ath of delay and deception and continues to have unrest and tyranny throughout the middle east, iran will only exacerbate its economic isolation. mr. speaker, i support the administration's conviction of the failure to achieve the expressed objectives of the p-5 plus 1 is not an option. r finest hours as a country, as a democracy have always been when the free and democratic nations of the world came together with courage and resolve to protect and preserve international security and freedom, and our greatest strength has always been our willingness to negotiate. in this case with a determination to attain an agreement that is fair but with a conviction that it must , it must must assure
1:30pm
assure that iran does not attain nuclear weapons capability now or in the future . mr. speaker, the time is short. the consequences are profound, and success is our only option. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair will entertain a motion to adjourn. mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, i ask the house do now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly, the house stands adjourned until noon on
1:31pm
the fine is set to increase for taxable income. backew rule will push implementation timeline for one year by setting the fine at zero percent for 2014 and reducing -- fine tond $295
1:32pm
$95. also, politico writes today that john boehner is applying for an alternative measure. gop leadership will continue to have conversations with members. isority leader cantor meeting with kevin mccarthy of california and cathy mcmorris rodgers about an obamacare alternative. he has said in the past that the bill would come up for a vote in 2014. that is from politico. news out of ukraine today. the associate press is reporting that austria is freezing the bank account of the former president. eu why pending and decision about sanctions. the washington post has this story. in a covert has no intention of asking for russian military
1:33pm
intervention in ukraine. not return told his country until his security could be guaranteed. >> deaths from other major line,ses continue to dec deaths from alzheimer's has increased. over 5 million americans have alzheimer's. 16 million will have it. the third reason i am here, simply, is to show people that they are not alone. so few people share their personal stories. so few people have something to relate to. i know that if me and my wife saw someone talking like this, it would probably make us feel less alone. americans whisper the word alzheimer's because their government whispers the word alzheimer's. although a whisper is better than silence, the community has been facing for decades -- it is still not enough. in these to be yelled and screamed until it's gets
1:34pm
the attention it needs. i yearn for a day when my charity is no longer necessary. people look to their government for help and i asked it when it comes to alzheimer's, you continue to take more steps to provide more. >> this weekend, self rogan on capitol hill --for support for all summer street and. tv,live sunday on book tufts university professor will take your calls and comments on black power studies. that is at noon. and on c-span3, american history tv visits the national gallery of art to learn about robert gold shaw. that is sunday at 6:00. next, an event marking the 20th anniversary of the brady handgun violence prevention act. forcontrol advocates pass
1:35pm
expanded prevention. jim brady was shot in the head during an assassination attempt on reagan and 1981. sarah brady is the founder of the brady foundation. she is the police chief of baltimore and gun violence victims were at the spent today. >> good morning. welcome. i am the president of the brady campaign to prevent gun violence. we are very clear to be here to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the brady law and to release our new report. before we get to those things, we want to begin by showing why we're all here. why our mission is so vitally important and why we cannot ever give up.
1:36pm
>> good morning. my name is kenny barnes. i live in washington dc. i'm a victim of senseless gun violence. this is a picture of my son. he was killed september 24, 2001. right here in washington, d.c. on the corner of 11th and u stre et northwest. >> good morning. my name is eddie. , my mother was shot to death in front of me. the gun was also turned on me. it malfunctioned. i am here today along with other victims and survivors of gun violence, to demand that the job be finished.
1:37pm
>> i am here on behalf of my husband. onwas robbed and murdered august 11, 1972. in the streets of west orange, new jersey. it still seems like yesterday. my family still misses him. on behalf of other families, let's finish the job. >> my name is peter reid. my daughter mary was one of 32 students and faculty who were shot to death on the campus of virginia tech on april 16, 2007. we believe that with better and fully implemented background checks, these kinds of tragedies can be printed.
1:38pm
--prevented. >> my name is raven bridges. i was shot may 29, 2013. i am here to promote and help ensure that this ends. >> my name is alex. sisterre on behalf of my , who was killed by a stalker. he purchased a gun on the internet. without any kind of background check. i'm here to prevent this from happening widely like that. >> good morning. my name is carolyn. i am here in honor of my husband, aricky. 1999 by a manin
1:39pm
who was a convicted felon. in spite of that, he was able to buy a gun from an unlicensed gun dealer, without a brady back --background check. >> hi. my name is sarah brady. i am here on behalf of my husband, jim brady. he was wounded in the assassination attempt on ronald reagan in 1981. >> my name is dan gross and i am here for my brother matthew, who was shot and ahead on the top of the empire state building and 1997. and for our dear friend christopher, who was killed that day.
1:40pm
for the 90 americans who are killed every day by a bullet, and for everyone of us who just wants to live in a safer nation. today, we're here to mark the 20 year anniversary of what could fairly be called the most significant step forward toward that goal of a safer nation. handgun violence prevention act took effect 20 years ago today. report,duce the special to introduce this report that we have issued -- to celebrate the success of this legislation and to define the critical work that lies ahead, 20 years of brady background checks, the case of finishing the job and making america safer. first, i would like to thank some special guests. of course, the victims and families that have joined us here today. i know i speak for all of us
1:41pm
here and so many across america when i say how much you all inspire all of us to continue our work. a lot of it is on behalf of of the loved ones that you have lost. our very important partners from the law enforcement community. we really appreciate your strong representation here today. your voice is are very important in these effort. our elected leaders, who truly are representing the voice of the american public on this issue in congress. and representative thompson, thank you for everything you do. some of our predecessors who are responsible for effective laws that we celebrate today. gail hoffman, i know is here. we thank you for everything that you did 20 years ago and the time lady up to it. position. in this
1:42pm
you help us to accomplish this. our partners from other organizations are represented here today. devoted to gun violence protections. the voice of the american public. and of course, sarah brady and her husband jim. he is certainly here with us today, as you know. is sarah in jim's legacy of success that really brings us here today. this very day, 20 years ago, the brady law took effect. as chronicled in our report, it changed what was really a line by system that allowed criminals easy access to deadly weapons. thanks to the brady law, thanks to sarah's work and the work of this organization, and free
1:43pm
federally licensed firearms dealer runs a background check before a buyer can walk away with a gun. the numbers you will hear speak for themselves. thanks to the brady law, background checks have blocked more than 2 million gun purchases by prohibited persons, such as felons and domestic abusers. in fact, when you do the math, the background checks block 343 attempts for these dangers people every day. bys includes 171 attempts ellen denied every day. everytech abusers denied day. background checks work. as a result, countless lives are saved and crimes are prevented. you only need to look at the dramatic decline in homicides for evidence. you can see that in this report.
1:44pm
what are report also reveals is that a lot has changed in the world in the last 20 years. new and dangerous loopholes have emerged that allow criminals and domestic abusers -- the same people who would be denied a gun because of the brady law -- it allows them easy access two guns, no questions asked. this includes gun shows, which have become mega malls with unlicensed gun sellers not covered by the brady law. significantly, and most alarmingly, it includes the internet. no one could have imagined that when the brady law was passed. together with gun shows, thousands of guns are bought and sold every day without background checks. today, you can find guns for shaleale on websites. at this very moment, you can go on there and there are up to 70,000 guns for sale without
1:45pm
background checks. many are promoted that you can buy a gun without a background check. even sites like facebook and instagram, sites were millions of american children spend hours every day, have become popular places to buy and sell guns. and asphole is very real you see behind me, it is very human. it is also chronicled in our report. daniel.e story of zena zena was a victim of domestic violence. she took out a restraining order on her husband, which meant he could not buy a gun at a federally licensed dealer. instead, he went online and purchased a semi-automatic handgun from an unlicensed seller, no questions asked. he used the gun to murder her and two of her coworkers in 2012.
1:46pm
along with of zena, they are told-- in this report. more than any statistic, these tragedies underscore the importance of our work. why we cannot give up, why we will not give up until we finish the job and expand review background checks to all gun sales so others do not have to experience the tragedy and loss that these families and to many others have come to know. and so we can all live in the favorite nation that we all want and deserve. another tragic story is about the murder of ricky -- i am now honored to introduce his wife, to share his important story in her own words. cheryl? i met ricky when i was 16 years old. we were both juniors in high
1:47pm
school and i knew he was the man for me. sure enough, when we both graduated from college, we got married and he began a 19 year career as a college basketball coach. eventually ending up at northwestern university in evanston, illinois. on july 2, 1999, the american dream that we had been living became the american young man who a was a member of a neo-nazi hate group came to our neighborhood and, as my husband was out side jogging, my eight-year-old son was on his bike, my 10-year-old daughter was on her rollerblades through andcame sprayed bullets at the three of them. one of those bullets struck my
1:48pm
husband and he did die. as the news spread about ricky being shot, calls were coming to asking, they were just assumed knowing the nature of the work my husband did that he was on the south side of chicago. when i told them that he was just one block from our home, they've are like what? that is unbelievable. it is. and now i think about all of the random acts of gun violence. it could happen to anyone, anywhere, at anytime. at a, in the movies, at school. walking in your neighborhood, your quiet neighborhood. day,just hopeful that one
1:49pm
and that day will come soon in america, when no dangerous person can buy a gun. these random acts of violence can be prevented. thank you. i had the pleasure of getting to know her a little bit and she has what in our opinion is one of the most important jobs. she is a teacher. it is both her day job as well as her very important extracurricular job. we want to thank you for everything that you do to teach our nation not only the tragedy of gun violence, but how it is really preventable by keeping guns out of dangerous hands and for having the courage to share your story can and again. everyone that is taught and needs to be taught, is taught.
1:50pm
thank you. now it is my honor to introduce the person whose job we are really here to finish. the person who, together with her husband, jim, their names are on the original law that we are here to celebrate today. somebody that i can tell you i am seeing in the halls everyday. she serves as a concert reminder of what we have the potential to achieve and a constant inspiration in terms of the perseverance that it takes and what ultimately can be achieved. sarah brady. >> thank you, dan. i especially want to thank all of the people who are such a great help to us over the years. over the last 25 years, i have seen more of it and of gun violence than i would
1:51pm
ever want. law enforcement has been totally behind us and with us and fought for us. this is chief jim johnson. we always have to think our leaders in congress. speaker policy has been there all the way and so has representative thompson. we thank you for your leadership. as seven years to get the brady bill and acted.-- en acted. through three presidents. it was hard work, but it was a very uplifting thing to do. every day that we were working on it, we knew that we were going to win. it was the david and goliath type of issue.
1:52pm
i did not take long for the american public, the press, to realize how hard a fight it was for us. we kept it up, and with the help of my friend gayle over there -- she was with me every day as we tromped these halls of congress, meeting with the members. also, working in their districts, going back to our targeted member districts and speaking and doing editorials, coordinating. seven years, it was hard work. but it was fun. we were so proud of the day when we first passed it. then we had to re-pass it again three years later. then it was signed by president clinton and became law. and acted 20 years ago.
1:53pm
the one thing i want to do is encourage everybody in the future that is working on this important issue -- it is important. to include all sales and background checks. you have just heard the reason why. theeral examples of it -- internet and gun shows. i want to encourage everybody that just because there's a public outcry does not mean that we are going to get a bill passed. it takes work and it takes time. it takes persistence. with that, we will win again. i have no doubt whatsoever. it will be a proud day and i want come back over here the day passes. i promise i will not leave until then. [applause]
1:54pm
wanted me to give everybody a big hello. he is sorry he could not be here today. it is a little hard for him to travel anymore. for those of you who helped us, thank you so very much. for those of you on the brady staff, the president and everybody else who is working on --now, i see they have got we're going to win and finish the job. thank you. [applause] sarah.k you, one of the more inspiring things in addition to the success you have achieved, is reminder of how much fun you had. legacy to continue that us well in our pursuit of this change. those charged with the protection and safety of our communities no support is more important for expanded background checks than the
1:55pm
support of the law enforcement community. the voice of law enforcement was critical to passing the original brady law and it will beep critical to passing this. we are grateful to have such strong representation from law-enforcement. i am pleased to introduce baltimore county police chief and sheriff chief jim johnson. >> good morning. speakquite an honor to briefly this morning on behalf of law-enforcement across the street nation. as you have heard, i am the chair of the national law enforcement partnership to prevent gun violence. of ninen alliance national law enforcement leadership organizations, including the commission of accreditation for law enforcement agencies, the hispanic american police command officers association, the international association of law enforcement administrators, the
1:56pm
police, the major city police association, the national association of women, the national association of black law enforcement police executive research forum, and the police foundation. you can see the influence of this broad a of law-enforcement leaders across america. i am proud to stand here today with sarah brady. jim,along with her husband have made a remarkable contribution to this nation. law enforcement hard with sarah and jim to get a brady law and acted. unquestionably, this law has had an incredible impact on public safety. you have saved my fellow police officers and citizens across america. i am very proud of that. [applause]
1:57pm
background checks block more than 2 million prohibited gun purchases. there is no way to quantify completely the law that has resulted from this. we have heard the tremendous impact. thatnk it is safe to say these 2 million guns could have resulted in 2 million catastrophes. hasrly, the brady law reduced access to firearms by those legally not permitted to possess them. other avenues for dangerous purchasers who acquire these firearms. they have. in baltimore county, i lost an office or four months ago due to an illegally obtained firearm. we have to shut things down. this is what leaders are asking you to do. purchases take
1:58pm
place between private parties without a license dealer. they require no background check at all. as we have warned, this is tantamount to allowing 40% of passengers to board an airplane without going through security screening. would we do that? the honor system would not work at airports is it just does not work with buying guns. andhould take the obvious reasonable step of requiring background checks for all sales. background checks for all sales, it is just that simple. this is not just common sense, our lives depend on it. thank you. [applause] thank you, chief. our next speaker is one of the great leaders in congress on this issue and the expansion of background checks, representative mike thompson of california.
1:59pm
along with representative keating of new york, he is chief sponsor of hr1565, the house version of the expanded background check bill that our organization is working so hard to support. on behalf of our one million members and supporters and all of the victims and amylase that you see here today and across the country, we appreciate your leadership. [applause] >> thank you. thank you very much for what you do. sarah, thank you. not, but you are such an important voice. for your public service encouraged to come out and do this. it takes a big person to be willing to stand up and speak out on this issue. later pelosi, thank you. she has been fantastic. if it were speaker pelosi, we
2:00pm
would not be here. this would have already been signed into law. , youll of the families call yourself survivors. victims -- you are just absolutely fantastic. the courage that you show is important. we hear too -- you are absolutely fantastic. the courage you show is important. we hear too often the numbers. 12,000 people killed by someone with a wire arm saint sandy hook. -- firearm since sandy hook. those numbers are numbing. the fact of the matter is, those numbers stand for the people and families we see standing with us today. it affects the lives of real people in a very, very tragic way. we need to do something about it. dan mentioned the bill we have from -- with representative
2:01pm
from newa republican york. the bill is pro-second amendment. it does not take guns away. it just requires that people purchase a firearm through commercial sale, have to have a background check, to make sure they are not criminals, to make sure they are not dangerously mentally ill. how anybody could be against that is completely beyond me. sevenk six years and votes to pass the brady bill. that bill had 155 co-authors. would put our bill on the floor, it would take one vote to pass it. we have 180 nine co-authors, and a stream of evil who have already told us they will vote for this. all we need is a vote. this thing would get passed, and get past today. we are not interested in quitting. we are going to stick with this. sayll join in the chorus to
2:02pm
we need to finish the jobs. thank you very much. [applause] >> i am honored to introduce someone who is one of the great leaders in this nation, period. nowhere is that more evident than, leader pelosi, your allership on behalf of americans to end this senseless gun violence in the nation. leader pelosi's commitment to this issue is great, genuine, and truly inspiring to those of commitment toour making this a safer nation. dan,thank you very much, for your generous introduction. it is with great humility that i come here today. humility in the face of the loss you all have suffered. sherilyn had such generosity of
2:03pm
spirit to sell her story again -- to tell her story again and again, to turn her grief into safety for so many people. i wish or need to be here did not exist, but you are, and thank you. to be with sarah and jim brady in the 1990's was to learn a lot about the gospel, which says oft when christ was out heaven, the apostles said to him, teach us how to pray. he said, ask and you shall receive. seek tom and you shall find. knock, and the door will be opened to you. it is that persistence of prayer that was the lesson of christ. that was the work of sarah and jim brady. they knocked on more doors, asked more people for votes. they sought out those votes, and always with the greatest humor
2:04pm
and goodwill. friendship never left their voices, even though they, better than anyone, new the seriousness of the task. been ady campaign has force for good and making a difference in our country. it is remarkable how many lives have been saved. and who would have thought that the internet, which should be our friend in this -- that would have been something that would facilitate the ground checks. it became a place where people anld buy guns in unidentified way. we have to expand the background check to cover gun shows and the internet. mr. mike thompson, working with peter king of new york, has a bipartisan bill to
2:05pm
do that. if we take this bill up on the floor, it will pass. the votes are there. the american people are more than they are. members of the nra, on this piece of gun violence prevention. that is what mr. thompson's bill is. i am honored to be here with the baltimore."peak i know what courage it takes. baltimore county is a place where he is a leader and a teacher on this subject. i had the privilege of being with him when he was recognized for his work on the violence against women act. these things come together so well. chief, thank you for your courage and leadership. just a veteran, a wounded veteran, a gun owner,
2:06pm
a hunter. , iolyn mccarthy said to me want to thank you for one thing. and that is appointing mike thompson to head the task force. you know what sarah mccarthy's commitment is to this issue. that is the best possible complement. .verything has been said i know we have the votes. we want to vote. we want to finish the job. when we do in the house, it will passed in the senate. one of the excuses people use is, it is not going to be placed in the house, so why should i vote for it in the senate? this is within reach. all we have to do is knock, and that persistence will pay off. we are not going away. anybody who thinks we are celebrating anniversaries and then tomorrow going to something else -- we are not going on to something else.
2:07pm
bring thisstaff to over. the other day, i had a visit from the boy scouts. they bring their annual report to the leader's office, and the speaker's office as well. there was a little boy who was a boy scout, and he gave me his patch, and it says, never forgotten, sandy hook thomas connecticut, pack 170. he was a student at sandy hook. that little boy is now incorporating into his boy scout life -- that is wonderful, but too bad. how can we possibly face ourselves? we take an oath at the beginning of every congress. most people do who are in any public service, to protect and defend. that is our oath. jim and sarah brady have helped us honor that oath.
2:08pm
we thank them for that. we thank them for the millions of -- who knows how many purchases would have resulted in how many injuries? but hundreds of thousands, or a million. we thank them for that will stop and we thank them for their persistence, for never going away. this is our responsibility to our children. imagine the courage of them coming out to tell their stories, to stir that all up. i think it is almost unimaginable, as a mother and a grandmother. i hope that, with all the humility in the world, because how can we face you until we have legislation that is long -- policy,law, that is that improves the safety of the american people? it is with the deepest gratitude to jim and sarah grady, but also to dan gross for turning his
2:09pm
leadershiprow into to save lives. thank you, all of you. you, leader pelosi, representative thomson, stephen johnson, all of our partners from law enforcement and other organizations, and of course the families, for being here and sharing your story. you are making a difference. team is now going to hand deliver this report to members of congress, so they can see for themselves the lifesaving impact the brady law has had since it came into effect 20 years ago. the fact is, more than 2 million purchases have been blocked by felons, domestic abusers, fugitives, and other people we all agree are dangerous.
2:10pm
that is 343 blocked purchases every day, all thanks to the work of jim and sarah brady, our predecessors at this organization, and the leadership we got in congress from leaders like leader pelosi. froms we have heard victims today, there is still a lot of work to be done. more than anything else, we hope these stories and this report sends another powerful call to action, one that cannot be ignored, for congress to finish the job and expand radio background checks to all gun sales. states that have answered this call and expanded background checks -- his is where you can start to quantify the impact we have talked about. in states that have passed these laws, the eight percent fewer women are8% fewer murdered by intimate partners. 39% fewer police officers are murdered with handguns.
2:11pm
think of the lives that could be saved if congress would step up and follow suit. chainsbeen mentioned, like this does not happen overnight. it took six votes over seven years to pass the original brady law. that make no mistake -- we have momentum on our side. there are those who do not want you to think that we do, but we do. momentum the likes of which this issue has not seen in years. last year alone, eight states passed major gun reforms, including new background checks. for new states will see 38% fewer women killed by their intimate partners, 39% fewer police officers killed with handguns. even the vote in the senate last year, which a lot of people took as a defeat -- it was a heartbreaking defeat. with sarah. gallery she said, sometimes it takes a
2:12pm
good loss. and she was right. i was so upset, i was starting to tear up. , in awas coming in consolation role. i thought about it, and she is right. is the tragedy that galvanized the american public. that is the tragedy that finally called our attention to what is really going on in congress, and the support we have seen from the 30,000 calls we were able to put in congress, the sustained support. this is a campaign now. change did not happen afternoon town and now it is over? this is a campaign to finish the job. we are not going anywhere until we do finish the job. to sum up, i will leave you with this. in the short time we have stood here today, brady background 14 gun saleslocked
2:13pm
to prohibited purchasers, like convicted felons and domestic abusers. there is a good chance that lives have been saved as a result. more lives time, for have been lost to gun violence. for more families have been introduced to the same indescribable tragedy as the families you see here today. it is time to finish the job and expand effective brady background checks to all gun sales. we will be happy to disperse among you and answer any questions and have any conversations you might be interested in having. thank you all for being here. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014]
2:14pm
click ukrainian president viktor yanukovych has fled to russia, where today he held a news conference to declare himself the legitimate president of ukraine. we are going to show that news conference to you in about half an hour.
2:15pm
some of today's white house briefing, where press secretary jay carney was asked about the situation in the ukraine. todayretary kerry said the u.s. is watching to see if russian activity in the crimea might he crossing a line in any way. >> we are watching to see, as the secretary said, whether s doing anything that might cross the line. sovereigntykrainian and expect other nations to do the same. reports of russian intervention in crimea are of deep concern to the united states. intervention would be a grave mistake.
2:16pm
there are statements previously that russia will respect the territorial integrity of ukraine. they are inconsistent with what russia confirmed in the budapest memorandum. we call on russia to inspect obligations made under the un's charter, to refrain from the threat or use of force against the political independence of any state. we urge all parties to avoid steps that could be misinterpreted or lead to a miscalculation at this delicate time. jay carney earlier today. see his entire briefing online. afternoon, president obama will speak to the democratic national committee winter meeting in washington. you can see the speech live here , starting at 4:45 eastern. from other major diseases like heart disease and strokes continue to decline. deaths from alzheimer's have increased almost 70% in the last
2:17pm
15 years. at this rate, and 35 years, 16 million will have the disease. i am here to show people they are not alone. so few people share their personal stories. so few people have something to relate to. if me and my wife saw someone like me talking about this, it would make us feel less alone. americans whisper the word alzheimer's because their government whispers the word alzheimer's. although a whisper is better than the silence the alzheimer's community has been facing for decades, it is not enough. it needs to be screened until it gets the funding and attention it needs. i dream of a day when my charity is no longer necessary and i can go back to being the lazy, self-involve manchild i was meant to be. people look to their government for hope. i ask that you continue to take steps to provide more. >> actor seth rogen on capitol hill, advocating increased
2:18pm
awareness and support for alzheimer's treatment. saturday morning at 10:25 eastern. author andnday, and tufts university professor will comment on what he calls "black power studies." an american history tv visits the national gallery of art to learn about colonel robert gould shaw and the 54th massachusetts volunteer infantry. this week, president obama called afghan president will pullai the u.s. out all troops from afghanistan unless that country signs of bilateral security agreement. institute for.s. peace, the special representative for afghanistan and pakistan talked about u.s. policy toward afghanistan. this is about half an hour.
2:19pm
>> good morning. my name is steve hadley. i am chairman of the board of the u.s. institute of peace. i want to thank you all for coming, and welcome you all to u.s. ip -- usip. usip is a congressionally-created an congressional organization. as we see every day in the public media, the world is full of sources of conflict, religious differences, ethnic differences, and tribal differences. usip believes that these sources of conflict do not need to descend to armed conflict, and then there are methods and processes that can prevent
2:20pm
conflicts from becoming armed conflicts. , our job is to identify, teach, and train people in these methods and processes, and then to apply them on the ground in conflict zones to prevent, mitigate, and resolve conflict. our program today focuses on one afghanistan, -- where usip has been involved for over a decade, helping to develop policies, practices, and -- seek that she to and to end the conflict and bring peace. our program will end with a ambassadorress by james dolmens, who is the special representative for afghanistan and pakistan within the u.s. department of state. two panels. go to the first is entitled
2:21pm
"afghanistan and the united and we the longview," need to take a long view here. panelists include ambassador marc grossman, jim dobbins's process as special representative. it will be moderated by andrew wilder, who heads the panel for south and central asia here at the u.s. institute of keys. the second panel will be on the future of media in afghanistan. four distinguished panelists, chaired by david and sir-- endsor as moderator, hear from voice of america. we hope you can conclude that afghanistan still matters the , that america's national security interests are best served by the emergence of a stable and prosperous afghanistan, that this object it can still be achieved, and that what has been accomplished in afghanistan over the last decade
2:22pm
offers some grounds for optimism that we can achieve this objective. afghanistan has made great progress over the last 12 years in health, education, women's rights, and economic development. todayll hear about that in these remarks and panels. you'll also hear about the political process -- progress that the afghan people have made. a presidential election is scheduled for this coming april 5. for the first time in afghan history, there is the prospect that power will be handed peacefully and i chronically from one leader to another. -- peacefully and democratically from one leader to another. there is unprecedented debate about the issues facing
2:23pm
afghanistan today. all these issues will be addressed this morning. david, like to thank head of the voice of america, who will chair the second panel and deliver closing remarks. david first had the idea of this event. willing if we would be to cosponsor it, and of course, we were delighted to do so. i would also like to thank the third quarter nice or of this organizer ofthird this event. one of their main purposes is to promote the kind of discussions we hope to have here today. that, i would like to introduce our keynote speaker, ambassador dobbins. special representative for afghanistan and pakistan, appointed in may of last year. prior to that, he was director of the land policy -- rand
2:24pm
policy center. he has held numerous state department and white house posts. he has become perhaps the most experienced diplomatic troubleshooter in the u.s. government. he was the clinton and george w. bush administration special for afghanistan, kosovo, bosnia, haiti, and somalia. all the global garden spots. he hit them all. he has been involved with the american-led intervention in haiti and the nato intervention in kosovo. is truly a man for all seasons, and is a good friend. after september 11, 2001,
2:25pm
ambassador dobbins was reported as the bush administration representative, to put together a successor for the ousted taliban regime. he was at the conference that established a new afghan government. he raised the flag over the newly reopened u.s. embassy in kabul. bettert think of a person to be entrusted with guiding u.s. policy through the challenges and opportunities of the political insecurity -- political and security transition in afghanistan. ambassador? [applause] >> thank you very much, and thanks to usip, voa, and the alliance supporting the afghan people.
2:26pm
extent that afghanistan has impeded on the american consciousness over the past year, it has largely been a security transition that has dominated. most is focused on the increasing role of afghan forces in conducting and leading the forward, onlooking the fate of the bilateral and the agreement, continued uncertainty about whether the united states and nato will be staying or going in 2015. in afghanistan, by contrast, increasing attention is being paid to another transition that has been put in train, from one elected leader to another. if the security transition goes badly, it may not make any difference who is governing afghanistan next year. at the reverse is also true. if this political transition does not take place
2:27pm
successfully, nothing achieved in the security sphere is likely to endure. if the bad news is that uncertainty about the conclusion can tin used to cloud the security transition, the political transition continues to move forward on schedule, and so far without significant disruption. important progress this past important electoral institutions, the finalization of the operation plan -- all of these have put the afghans in a much better place than previous cycles. nominationtes' period concluded. vetting of candidates took place. hundreds of objections were adjudicated. and final candidate lists were
2:28pm
announced, including a list of 11 presidential hopefuls. the independent election commission has demonstrated its going capacity and institutional strength, in preparation for the upcoming elections. announcement of operational plan, ballot procurement, design and distribution, along with administrative guidelines, staffing with civil society, and electoral organizations continues to help create an environment of transparency, contributing to rising confidence in the electoral process. the successful voter registration guide, begun during the summer of 2013, in which new voters registered by the millions, largely without incident, also demonstrates greater iec capacity. although there is less room for optimism in the iec's performance, overt political
2:29pm
pressure could still derail this progress. fortunately, political entities have so far largely refrain from interfering in the electoral preparations. indeed, afghan officials have been engaging in electoral activity. the commission was permanently established through passage of a new electoral law. they successfully adjudicated complaints stemming from selections in october, but since made slower progress. the establishment of provincial electoral complaint offices, and the memorandum of understanding to call a pay -- co-locate in provinces and clarify relations between the independent bodies has not yet been finalized. however, the publication of the rules of procedure, along with
2:30pm
the february inauguration of 100 commissioners, does represent important progress. the afghan security forces are hard at work. security planning for the upcoming elections -- they are devoting all available resources and energy to planning for contingencies. they are working in coordination with the electoral commission to strike the right balance to increase participation without increasing the opportunities for fraud. on january 12, the minister of the interior issued an assessment of polling center security, and concluded that 214 685 polling centers would be inaccessible on election day. since then, they added an additional 323 polling centers to the list of those that would probably be inaccessible.
2:31pm
on february 14, the iec issued its list of polling centers, with 21,000 polling stations across the country. does not intend to add any additional centers to this list, but given the dynamic security environment, some of those that have already been announced as open could fall into the closed category by election day. the release of the polling before the six weeks poll takes place marks a significant improvement over the 2009 elections, when the polling center list was released only days before the election. election monitoring and observation is one of the best ways to mitigate fraud and ensure credibility of the electoral process.
2:32pm
consistent with afghan responsibility for afghan elections, domestic observation efforts are being bolstered to enable over 12,000 domestic observers to monitor upcoming elections. over 300,000 candidate agencies are also expected to participate in these monitoring efforts. the iec is also inviting international observers to take part. national democratic institution, democracy international, and the international crisis group of the three american organizations who are currently fielding international observation groups are credited to the electoral commission. the european union and the oh union -- the european also plan to send monitoring teams. also do monitoring. the u.s. will continue to support the election process in a variety of ways, while in
2:33pm
absolutely no respect supporting any particular candidate or party. let me say a few words about the campaign today. -- as the presidential campaign kicked off in capital-- 2, postersbruary appeared overnight, and thousands attended rallies. enthusiasm is on the rise, and afghan society is showing increased sophistication, with lively media coverage focusing on candidate rallies, platforms, and voting opinions. a series of television live debates focused on issues rather than ethnicity have been particularly well received. afghan news outlets offered minute by minute debate updates on facebook pages and twitter feeds as candidates exchanged views on security, foreign
2:34pm
affairs, the bilateral security agreement, corruption, economics, and women's rights. -- weekss a.m., the in, the various campaigns are increasing their presence outside kabul. media outlets are highlighting citizen requests for candidates to travel to the provinces and present their platforms in person. afghan civil society organizations are also inviting candidates to events, and question and answer sessions to explain their platforms and thoughts. for example, one conference earlier this month brought together many former presidential candidates and campaign officials, with women to discussvinces, substance of policy concerns, the first time something like this has ever occurred in afghanistan. a cautious sense of optimism has taken hold regarding these elections.
2:35pm
whereas a year ago many afghans doubted these elections would ever take place, more are confident about the process and hopeful about the elections. if successful elections can pave the way for afghans first peaceful and democratic transfer of power in its history. afghans are heading to the pole at a time of rising incomes, rising longevity, rising literacy, rising mobility, rising political engagement, and also, of course, rising uncertainty about the future. despite this uncertainty about the security transition and about the continued international commitment, recent polling suggests that afghans remain more optimistic about their future than most americans are about afghanistan's future. afghans tend to be more
2:36pm
optimistic about their future than americans are about america's future. most recent poll finds that 67% of afghans to leave their country is headed in the right direction, as opposed to only 33% of americans who hold a similar view regarding our country. 77% of afghans believe the upcoming elections can make a difference in their lives. afghans may be divided by ethnicity, language, and religion, but they do not seem to be experiencing gridlock. the current presidential campaign does not evidence polarization, but rather the opposite, as public debates have seen more agreement than discord on the major issues facing the country. according to a recent asia foundation survey, 76% of afghans believe they are better off today than they were under the taliban. i think the american figures for
2:37pm
americans would be much lower. between 2002 and 2012, afghanistan experienced a greater improvement in health, in education, and in overall standard of living than did any other country in the world, as measured by the human development program. in education, literacy has increased from 12% of the population to 30%. 900,000 an estimated boys were in school, and virtually no girls. today, there are over 10 million children in school, nearly 40% of whom are girls. the number of teachers has 2002 tod from 20,000 in 175,000 today. student enrollment has increased from 8000 in 2001 and higher
2:38pm
incation to over 100,000 public universities and institutes of higher education today. there has also been a significant increase in students enrolled in private higher education. in health, the life expectancy has increased by 20 years. i do not think in the history of such statistics, any country has experienced such a dramatic and historic increase over such a short time in longevity. the 20 years since 2002, and has gone from 42 years to 62 years. infant mortality has decreased 77 deaths per 1000 live births. and under age five mortality 97 deaths per 1000 births.
2:39pm
paternal mortality fell even toe drastically, from 16,000 327 deaths per 100,000 births. the onestistics are that are largely behind this increase in overall majority. as regards the economy, afghanistan's gross domestic runner has grown an estimated nine percent annually since 2002. overall, the afghan economy has more than quadrupled since the fall of the taliban. exports have increased from approximately $69 million in in 2012.380 million legal and regulatory reforms have improved the business environment, and have already resulted in more than $1.5 billion investment in the telecom industry alone. 2001, there was one mobile phone company with 1000 secure
2:40pm
subscribers. four telecomare companies with more than 16 million telecom subscribers, some offering three g service. telecommunications networks reach 90% of the afghan population. in 2002, only six percent of afghans had access to reliable electricity. today, over 30% of the population have such access. been, as has been noted, considerable progress regarding democracy, governance, and press freedom. constitutional democracy has steadily taken root. the afghanistan constitution is arguably the most progressive in south and central asia. over the past 12 years, afghanistan has had to presidential-- two
2:41pm
and parliamentary elections, and elections.vincial 100 20 judicial positions are currently held by women. 2001, there was one state radio and television station. today, there are over 75 television stations, and 175 radio stations, all but two of which are private. of women,the status female literacy has increased to nationwide, 30% among girls aged 15-24. an almost 40% among young urban women. the last fively years, 120,000 girls have graduated from high school. an estimated 40,000 are currently enrolled in public and private universities.
2:42pm
the executive branch, three women out of 25 serve as cabinet ministers. in the legislative branch, the women hold seats in the national assembly. maybe the most stunning of figures regarding the changes in afghan attitudes that have taken place over the last decade is of sixday, five out afghans believe that women should have an education. that then indication kind of changes we have seen are likely to endure as long as the political and security environment allows them to do so. improvements,ese afghanistan remains one of the poorest and least developed plans on earth, and one of the
2:43pm
more violent, although by no means one of the most violent. despite its ethnic, linguistic, and religious divisions, there is no ethnic cleansing going on in afghanistan, and no purely sectarian violence. but there is an ongoing insurgency conducted by those who would seek to reverse much of the progress of which i have spoken. remain quites fragile. a recent congressionally mandated study by the center for naval analysis finds that afghan security forces require not just external funding, but continued international military training, advice, and assistance for several more years, if they are to sustain themselves against the insurgency and maintain control over major population centers. this is consistent with administration analysis and that of our alliance partners.
2:44pm
is why nato is negotiating its own status of forces agreement. our intention was to conclude the bilateral security agreement last fall, to have announced our intended to thousand 15 true commitment shortly thereafter,-- 2015 true commitment shortly thereafter, and to spend 2014 working on the disposition of this new force. unfortunately, president karzai's decision not to sign the agreement he negotiated, that he is not seeking to change, and that he agrees is important for afghanistan, has thrown this timetable badly off. president obama told president karzai he is open to waiting until later this year to conclude is necessary, but that this delay would not be without cost.
2:45pm
while we still continue to plan for a residual force to train, advise, and assist the afghan security forces, and to conduct a limited counterterrorism of the, the scale commission -- commitment may wane as uncertainty over are welcome process, and we need to plan for full withdrawal. there are some who see our experience in iraq, when a similar uncertainty led to complete withdrawal. but afghanistan is different from iraq in a number of respects. back in 2001, the iraqis did not want us. they did not need us. an agreementgned several years earlier, promising to leave. , no politicale figure, was ready to argue publicly for a continued american military presence. iraq had plenty of its own money.
2:46pm
u.s. had signed a legally binding agreement several years earlier, committing the united states to withdraw all of its troops by the end of 2011. afghanistan is different in all of these respects. the afghans want us to stay. they need us to stay. and we signed an agreement to years ago, committing us to a long-term security partnership. even president karzai repeatedly acknowledges the importance of the collateral security agreement for afghanistan, and nearly all have urged early conclusion. it is not much of an exaggeration to say the only permanent afghan to speak against the bilateral security agreement has been omar. the afghan state and its security forces, in contrast to those in iraq, are much more
2:47pm
dependent on continued american sinceternational support. 2011, iraq has seen a slow increase in terrorist violence, but iraq was not them, in 2011, and is still not in the midst of an all-out civil war. in the absence of a continued advise and assist u.s. and nato military mission, afghanistan's dissent into political disintegration is likely to be more rapid. continuing need for american support let our governments to conclude the strategic partnership agreement in 2012, and to immediately embark on negotiations of the bilateral security agreement in order to lay the groundwork for that aspect of our partnership. that most all know americans are tired of the afghan conflict, and believe that the results have not
2:48pm
justified the cost. but americans have withdrawn gradually and responsibly. americans say the war was not worth fighting, according to a recent washington post whole, 55% still favor keeping some for training and counterterrorism purposes. this margin of support is narrow , and likely to diminish further, as long as uncertainty about our welcome persists. present obama's decision to leave open the possibility of concluding the necessary agreement with a willing partner later this year provides hope that this all can still be worked out, despite president karzai's continued refusal to conclude the agreement now. this delayraid that could still be costly. thank you.
2:49pm
[applause] >> the associated press reporting that secretary of state john kerry says he has called russia's foreign minister to express u.s. concerns over military activity in crimea that could further inflame tensions in ukraine. secretary kerry spoke by phone to sergey lavrov today. him theyavrov assured will protect ukrainian integrity, but noted that russia has interests including a naval base. press secretary jay carney commentated on the unrest. click secretary kerry said the u.s. is watching to see if russian activity in crimea may be crossing a line in any way. at the administration would also be very careful in making judgments about that.
2:50pm
can you say what the u.s. is prepared to do if russia does cross that line? >> we are watching to see, as the secretary said, whether or not russia is doing anything that may be crossing the line in any way. we strongly support ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty and expect other nations to do the same. reports of russian intervention in crimea are of deep concern to the united states. as secretary kerry said and ambassador rice has said, intervention would be a grave mistake. these reports are also inconsistent with russia's previous statements to united states that russia will respect the territorial integrity of ukraine. and they are inconsistent with what russia confirmed in the budapest memorandum. we call on russia to respect obligations made under the un's charter to restrain threat and use of force against the lyrical independence of any state. we urge all parties to avoid
2:51pm
steps that could be misinterpreted or lead to a miscalculation at this delicate time. >> and at a news conference in russia, ousted ukrainian president viktor yanukovych insisted he was still the legitimate president, and said he was forced to leave because of threats to his life and family. unicode which -- he said he will not ask for russian military support. blamed westerners for the unrest. mind, we willot organize our conference in the following way. yanukovych would first like to tell you a few words, addressing them to you and the whole world.
2:52pm
>> thank you. distinguished viewers, , it is high time for announce my decision to fight for the future of ukraine. against those who use fear and to take the power. and i have decided to go public about it. no one has deposed me. i was forced to leave ukraine because of the threat to my life and the life of my relatives. know, the power in
2:53pm
ukraine was seized by nationalist pro-fascist youth minority represent a of the ukrainian population. how do i see the solution now to the crisis? a need to fulfill what was laid by the crisis settlement agreement between the president of the ukraine and opposition leaders, in the presence of the foreign ministers of france, asmany, and poland, as well a representative of the russian federation. we need to embark on a constitutional reform and finish
2:54pm
it by september 2014. the reform needs to balance out all of the branches of power -- the authorities of the president, the parliament. then, we need to hold presidential elections in december of 2014. and then, to adopt a new constitution. of course, it is very important unbiasedt an investigation of the acts of violence. of course, given the monitoring andhe european authorities, all of the arms and weapons need to be handed over to the police. all of the buildings and streets
2:55pm
and squares need to be de-blo cked, and the barricades need to be removed. all of the armed gunmen need to leave the streets, need to ensure normal life for the citizens of ukraine, including in kiev and other regions of the country. we need to take into account the interests of all the regions of the ukraine. difficult to get out of this difficult situation. the turbulent time that we faced , and the casualties, are the consequences of the political crisis that ukraine faced. of the the result irresponsible policy of the west , which connived at the maidan
2:56pm
opposition forces. the ukraine is a strong country, and we will prevail. we will get out of this crisis. to hold a ukrainian referendum. that will besues put on that referendum for a , we need to discuss these with the participation of the broad spectrum of the civil society. course, they have to the relevant problems the country is facing, and also in terms of for the state order. thank you. vych.ank you, mr. yanuko
2:57pm
i would like to hear some questions. the first question is to be asked by my interfax colleague. you are welcome to ask a question. in a question. the microphone is not working. these introduce yourself. the mic is not working. [indiscernible]st: >> please just talk as loudly as you can. petrov, interfax agency. said the, you february concluded in was not fulfilled. that the question is judges of the constitutional court have been deposed in ukraine.
2:58pm
the russian constitutional court has already provided some feedback on that. ?ow could you comment on that thank you. >> thank you. i got the question. agreement that was supposed to give a solution to the crisis had to be completed by both sides. and i believe that the international intermediaries were reliable. i believed in the bona fide character of the agreement. the leaders of the opposition signed it. affairssters of foreign
2:59pm
of three states also signed it. it was a critical decision at that point. according to the opposition and the radical elements that were present at maidan and in other regions, they had to hand over block -- ons to d they seized,areas but that was not enforced. as a result, kiev was flooded startedmen that programs -- pogroms. destroy houses, cultural facilities, and churches. suffered.nt civilians people were robbed and beaten up in the streets.
3:00pm
and that is still happening. that is why that agreement gave a certain hope, but what ensued is hard to describe. ,his is lawlessness, terror complete chaos, and lack of power. these are unprecedented some of those that were subject to physical violence had stones thrown at them. they were intimidated. they were take care to the square where they took an oath of loyalty.

Terms of Use (10 Mar 2001)